By David Meshioye:
England U-21s coach, Aidy Boothroyd, is virtually growing grey hairs over the possibility of their youngsters switching allegiance to Nigeria with the three time African champions on the brink of qualifying for Russia 2018 World Cup, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Nigeria will put the 2018 World Cup African qualifying Group B to bed if Super Eagles beat in Uyo on Saturday, and Boothroyd has alerted the English football authorities are that Nigeria could have a better advantage of talking the likes of Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham, Liverpool’s Dominic Solanke and Sheyi Ojo, Everton’s Ademola Lookman and Tottenham’s Josh Onomah into joining Alex Iwobi and Ola Aina in switching international allegiance.
Boothroyd revealed to telegraph.co.uk that England is facing a stiff battle from Nigeria over the international future of her youngsters.
Nigeria FA chiefs approached Tammy Abraham in September but the Chelsea striker sounded non-committal saying he hadn’t made up his mind, while Everton ace Ademola Lookman was also a prime target until he came out clear that he was better off with England.
“Nigeria are trying to get as many players as they can and you can’t blame them because we’ve got some good players,” Boothroyd said.
“There was talk about Tammy, while Sheyi Ojo is another and they might still be trying [to make him represent Nigeria at senior level], you just don’t know. It’s a hard one because I can’t guarantee they are going to play because the group is so good.
“Tammy didn’t start the game before last and that’s just one of those things. Perhaps other countries might see that and try and get into him, promise him the world and get him in the first-team before you know it.
“But these are lads that have played for England and have an affinity with us and a relationship. There is a pathway and I can always pick the phone up and speak to them.”