By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Nigeria are set to call up Sammy Ameobi to the Super Eagles after his impressive form for English Premier League side Newcastle United, reports Completesportsnigeria.com
The younger brother of Crystal Palace striker Shola Ameobi has played 25 times for United this season as he bids to earn an extended contract at St James’ Park.
He has scored twice – against Spurs and Hull – and came on in the second half against Tottenham on Sunday.
ChronicleLive.co.uk, a Newcastle-based football website reports on Tuesday that Ameobi has caught the eye of Super Eagles Stephen Keshi who was unveiled on Tuesday by the Nigeria Football Federation in his third stint as coach of the Nigerian national team.
Keshi revealed on Tuesday that he will call Sammy up if he is eligible. “I’ve been impressed with Sammy. If he’s willing and eligible, we’ll try to get him,” Keshi assured.
Ameobi has five caps for the England under-21 side but said back in August that he wants to follow the lead of older brother Shola and declare for Nigeria, where both of his parents were born. The parents hail from Kabba in Kogi State.
“It wasn’t a difficult decision because I decided to follow my heart (to declare international future for Nigeria) and I think it’s the right thing to do,” Ameobi said.
“I saw Shola at the World Cup and for him to play at a major tournament like that is a big motivation.”
Nigeria will face Egypt, Tanzania and Chad in their 2017 African Nations qualification Group G pool.
Completesportsnigeria.com recalls that Sammy Ameobi was part of the Flying
Eagles’ preparing for the 2011 FIFA U20 World Cup in Colombia and played twice in the Toloun Tournament. He was eventually dropped by coach John Obuh from the final 21-man squad.