The recent move by the coach of England U-20 coach, Paul Simpson to name six Nigerians in his squad for the U-20 World Cup coming up in Korea later this week calls for worry by stakeholders in Nigeria.
Out of the six players, three are of special interest as Nigerians were already singing their names and the three are Ovie Ejaria and Sheyi Ojo both of Liverpool FC and Everton youngster Ademola Lukman who got many Nigerians praying that he will wear the green white green jersey of the Super Eagles one day after he scored his first goal in an Everton shirt against the Pep Guardiola-tutored Man City this season.
My worry here is that after the U-20 World Cup, a Three Lions’ call-up is inevitable and then it’s all gone. I can’t say we should pray they have a bad World Cup outing but if any of these three have a successful outing in Korea, there is 90% chance they will represent England at the senior level because it will be an easy decision for both them and England to make.
The English national team coaches are very wise as they only go for the skillful and talented players on their soil, not minding their origins and will also drop them when they lose form to go poach another.
Nigeria must now strategise on how to go about clearing Ojo and Ejaria at least, after the U-20 World Cup in Korea. They must know that this is not Alex Iwobi because there might be no Jay Jay Okocha to persuade them to choose Nigeria ahead of England.
And if we allow the Nigerian factor of time wasting and continuous postponement to creep in, we will all watch them represent England at the senior level and solidify their allegiance.