On-loan Chelsea defender and Super Eagles’ newbie, Ola Aina has disclosed that team captain, John Obi Mikel was instrumental to him switching allegiance from England to Nigeria.

Aina, who spoke exclusively to, narrated the role Mikel played in the process, saying the Super Eagles’ star compelled him on several occasions to switch allegiance to Nigeria.


“Mikel tried to convince me several times to play for Nigeria. He told me I’ll like it here and after so much thought, I made up my mind to represent my fatherland,” Aina told


Mikel and Ola Aina used to be teammates at Chelsea before the former left for China to ply his trade.

Giving advice to European-born players of Nigerian descent, Aina said:


“It will be really good if they can play for Nigeria but then, they all have their individual choices to make.”

After not being listed in the squad that faced Cameroon in Uyo, Aina has been cleared by world football governing body, FIFA and might earn his first cap for Nigeria in the return fixture in Yaoundéon Monday.