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Man United U-23s Star Kehinde: How Okocha, Iwobi, Mikel Made Me Choose Nigeria

Man United U-23s Star Kehinde: How Okocha, Iwobi, Mikel Made Me Choose Nigeria

Manchester United U-23s midfielder  Tosin Kehinde has expressed his desire to play for Nigeria over England.

Kehinde, 19, was born in Lagos but was brought up in England and is eligible to play for both Nigeria and England.


Kehinde, alongside his parents, met Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) officials last weekend in London to start the process of formalising his switch to Nigeria.

In a chat with BBC Sport, Kehinde said: “Nigeria has always been a part of me. I was born there. My whole family are Nigerian. I come from a very strong Nigerian background so the influence has always been around me.”

Zenith Ziva

Kehinde said he is inspired by Alex Iwobi who decided to switch allegiance to Nigeria in 2015.

“When you are growing up, when you see players like Jay Jay Okocha, how good he was and the current crop of players such as Alex Iwobi and Super Eagles captain, Mikel Obi, the desire to get the opportunity to play for Nigeria has always been there really.”

Kehinde started playing football for a junior Sunday league team when he was just seven years  old and joined United’s junior side at 13.

He rose through the age groups to play for the U-23s and stated he hopes to feature for the main team.

“I hope to play in the first team, that’s every player’s dream and my dream also,” the youngster said.

“The manager’s [Jose Mourinho’s] continued belief in the youth and giving people opportunity has made me feel that if I keep working hard maybe I can get the opportunity as well.”

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  • Cool bro.abeg make u play well for US ooooh. This time around de need good player . make rohr invite u make de sée waiting u get na. No be so My peoples?

    • Cool bro.abeg make u play well for US ooooh. This time around we need good player . make rohr invite u make de see waiting u get na. No be so My peoples?

      • We don’t need academy players any more in eagles, look at what Tyrone ebuehi played d other day, rohr should stop turning our team to children’s team. Any player that we must beg has to be very very good, not under 18 academy players

        • Look at u are u not a Nigerian, go and play now.see ur mouth u don’t want academy players

  • buzik B 3 years ago

    God bless you, your family and your career. You won’t regrat this decition’ we are solidly behind you.

  • Sunnyb 3 years ago

    Solid player with immense potential, unlike those media overhyped players..

  • Sunnyb 3 years ago

    Musa, Onazi, Ogu, ihneacho, Iwobi,Awezem,Ezenwa,these players are not World Cup materials,If Rohr takes them to Russia Nigeria will be disgraced . Selection and invitations to the national teams is based on sentiments and bribery never based on merits , with exception of Siasia.

  • Hope Odianosen 3 years ago

    Oga Mykel, which player played well against Serbia?? Ebuehi is one of the best fullbacks in Dutch league that’s why he will be going to Benfica next season, Benfica coach (JESUS) is one of the most intelligent coaches in the world and that’s why the man has been there for so many years and he knows Ebuehi is a quality player. Beside, Ebuehi was nursing an injury before the match against Poland and Serbia.

  • Pls …let him know.
    Judging a player because of one match is something else. Even Ekong didn’t play well that day without balogun (the same player dat had a bad day against poland). Against Di Maria, shehu struggled and this guy performed. Even against south Africa, shehu struggled. Some are even calling Echiejile back bcos of Poland and Serbia matches. Some even want eze ahead of balogun…. Some Nigerians are very funny.

  • Kehinde took wise decision for opting to play for Nigeria but I believe in gradual development just as in club. Let him start with U20 if he is eligible.

  • Mikailu 3 years ago

    U shall receive a warm welcome to Nigeria. But u need to push hard for a first team at Man Utd. Wish u best of luck.

  • I hope he would not make u turn the way Tom Abraham of Chelsea. and co who uses to change their minds at the last hours. i prayed he stick to his word and assurance he gave to the fans back home especially the people of Lagos where he was born. i wish him the best.