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Chuba Akpom chooses Nigeria over England

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Chuba Akpom and Ola Aina pose with NFF president, Amaju Pinnick after training with the Super Eagles at Barnet in March 2017

Former Arsenal forward Chuba Akpom has pledged his allegiance to the national team of Nigeria, the country of his parents after playing in the past for England youth teams.

Akpom, who has 41 appearances for England youth teams, hopes to team up with his childhood friend Alex Iwobi who also dumped England for Nigeria.

Akpom’s switch to the Super Eagles has had a hint of inevitability after he trained with Nigeria’s senior team in March 2017 alongside Ola Aina.

“I’ve only just recently switched my allegiance, so I’ve signed the documents and hopefully in the next few weeks it will be approved to enable me play for Nigeria,” Akpom told BBC Sport.

“I’ve been wanting to do that for many years now but not many people know this. It’s just been a matter of sorting it out, which is now in a process. I’m looking forward to it.

“It was a personal decision. 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. We started playing when we was younger together and to make that step to play for the national team together will be amazing.”

Akpom thought the switch would have happened earlier when he said in a 2018 interview that he hoped to get called up to the Super Eagles for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

He had just completed a permanent move to Greek side PAOK Salonika. He played a part in PAOK’s domestic double last season and has started this season in good form scoring two goals in four games in the Greek league.

“Going to play abroad and in another league has helped me, but I hope to take my career to the next level with Nigeria.”

It is unclear if Akpom would have gotten clearance to play for the Super Eagles before the game against Brazil in Singapore on October 13.


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