Former England Youth International Chuba Akpom (who has elected to play for Nigeria) has been in the news this week having decided to switch from
PAOK in Greece to Middlesbrough in the English Championship.
Although not every available eligible player will make the Super Eagles squad, the NFF’s policy of attempting to persuade as many dual nationality footballers as possible to play for Nigeria has invariably increased the pool of players that Super Eagles fans have the pleasure to track and celebrate week in week out in club football.
And celebrate I will, this news of Chuba Akpom’s return to Britain albeit in the second tier English football.
Some years ago, Akpom’s movement would have been irrelevant to me. However, having committed his international future to Nigeria, he finds himself within the radar of Super Eagles fans having now identified as a Nigerian.
“It was a personal decision (to choose the Super Eagles) . I’m Nigerian and my whole family feel very Nigerian and it will be nice to represent Nigeria.
It will also be nice to link up with Alex [Iwobi] again and play for the national team,” said Akpom last year.
However, will he get the opportunity to kit up with his former Arsenal team mate in Nigeria colours?
Akpom trained with the Super Eagles in 2017 along side Ola Aina who himself has since then gone on to accumulate 15 caps for Nigeria.
However, since the 24 year old committed his international future to Nigeria, the centre forward landscape has shifted dramatically with lethal sharpshooters emerging from every corner.
Osimhen is currently the commander in chief with the likes of Iheanacho, Dessers, Maja, Onuachu, Simmy waiting to mount a coup.
Others like Tolu Arokodare, Taiwo Awoniyi also harbour national team ambitions.
But all hope is not lost Akpom. Powerful performances in the English Championship, laced with goals and crowned with promotion into the English Premier League will definitely swing national team invitation-pendulum his way.
He is going to a club with Premier League ambitions firmly in their sights. Akpom, for his part, has got national team ambitions in his sights.
He might yet re-unite with Iwobi sooner rather than later – both as English Premer League players and fellow Nigeria internationals.
But, it remains to be seen who will give way to him among the deadly centre forwards currently available to the Super Eagles.
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