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REVEALED: England stars who are also eligible to play for Nigeria at AFCON

Liverpool’s Curtis Jones and Crystal Palace youngster Eberechi Eze hold down midfield, while an Arsenal star and a Bournemouth striker lead the front line… how far would this duel-eligibility English and Nigerian side go at AFCON?

 

Nigeria will kick their AFCON campaign off today, Sunday against Equatorial Guinea. The Africa Cup of Nations kicked off on Saturday with Nigeria set to be one of the strongest sides in the competition considering their star-studded roster of players. While Morocco and Senegal are the two favourites to win, the Super Eagles boast a squad that is littered with some sensational talents, including prolific goal scorer Victor Osimhen. Several Premier League have also been named in their squad, including Calvin Bassey, Alex Iwobi and Frank Onyeka – while former Everton star Ademola Lookman will look to continue his fine vein of goalscoring form with Nigeria too. But Nigeria’s squad could have been even stronger, with there being several dual-qualified stars who could have, at one stage in their careers, potentially turned out for either England or Nigeria. Here, are duel-eligibility English and Nigerian side but how far would it go at this year’s AFCON?

A strong first eleven players who are England-born but eligible to play for Nigeria’s Super Eagles

Goalkeeper – Owen Goodman
Eligible to play for all of England, Nigeria and Canada, the Crystal Palace shot-stopper, who is currently on loan at Colchester United, gets the nod between the sticks. The 20-year-old has stepped in to become a regular starter for the U’s and has previously declined a call up to Nigeria’s U20 camp, opting to play for England U20 instead.

Right back – Michael Olise
Now before I hear you moan that Olise is not a right back, we were limited in our options for this position, so we’ve decided to slot the Crystal Palace star into our defence. The winger was born in Hammersmith in London and is eligible to play for England. His father, meanwhile, is from. Nigeria, meaning he can play for the Super Eagles. Despite that, Olise has been playing in the France U21 side so far during his fledgling international career.

Centre back – Tosin Adarabioyo
After coming back from injury, Adarabioyo has been in flying form for Marco Silva’s side and has attracted the attention of clubs around Europe. After joining Fulham back in 2020 from Manchester City, the 26-year-old has entered the final six months of his contract, with Monaco still interested in the defender after having had several attempts to secure him rejected last summer.

Centre back – Fikayo Tomori
Born in Canada to Nigerian parents, Tomori moved to the UK before his first birthday and played for England at youth level before making his senior debut for the Three Lions back in 2019. Currently plying his trade with AC Milan in Serie A, the former Chelsea defender’s recent performances have reportedly garnered him the attention of several clubs around Europe, including Arsenal and Bayern Munich.

Left back – Derrick Abu
Southampton youngster, Abu, has the ability to play across the backline. While his preferred position is on the right side of defence, with Olise playing out of position we’ve had to switch him to play on the left flank. The Chelsea academy graduate moved to the south coast last summer on a free transfer and has been playing in Saints’ U21 side this season. He has represented England at U17 level but is also eligible to play for Nigeria through his parents.

Centre midfield – Curtis Jones
Perhaps one of the most underrated midfielders in the Premier League right now, Jones has been in flying form for Liverpool notably scoring in their EFL Cup victory against Fulham in midweek. While questions were raised over whether the Reds would be able to cope after offloading key midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho in 2023, the 22-year-old has stepped in to become the heartbeat of Liverpool’s midfield in recent weeks. Jones is of Nigerian descent through his grandmother and has represented England at U21 level. Considering his recent performances, Jones could be called up to Gareth Southgate’s squad for this summer’s Euros.

Centre midfield – Ross Barkley
After his surprise return to the Premier League in August last year, Barkley has impressed for Rob Edwards’ Luton of late, notably dazzling during their recent 3-2 defeat by his former club Chelsea. The 30-year-old has earned 33 caps for England, but hasn’t featured for the Three Lions since 2019. He is of Nigerian descent through his father’s side of the family.

Attacking midfield – Eberechi Eze
Born in London to Nigerian parents, Eze won his first England senior cap in 2023 after impressing with Crystal Palace. A pivotal cog in Roy Hodgson’s side, Eze possessses bags of creativity and an excellent technical ability, having returned three goals in 14 Premier League appearances so far this season.

Right wing – Bukayo Saka
Saka has been, for a long time, one of the most exciting players to watch in the Premier League. His excellent form this season has also seen him return six goals and seven assists in 19 Premier League appearances. He was born in London in 2001 to Nigerian parents but made his senior England debut in October 2020 during a 3-0 victory against Wales.

Left wing – Ademola Lookman
The speedy winger’s footballing journey began in the Chartlon youth ranks before he would move to Everton. Lookman would also go on to enjoy spells with RB Leipzig, Fulham and Leicester, before arriving at his current club Atalanta in 2022. The England U20 World Cup winner notably switched international allegencies to Nigeria back in 2022, and has been the subject of much interest from Premier League clubs following his excellent form of having now scored seven goals in 18 appearances for the Serie A side.

Centre forward – Dominic Solanke
It’s been a hard decision to leave out Tammy Abraham from this squad. But taking stock of Abraham’s recent injury lay-off and Solanke’s current form, scoring 12 times in 19 Premier League appearances, the Bournemouth striker gets the nod up top. Solanke’s prolific form in front of goal could even see him receive an England call up for next summer’s European championship. The Cherries striker, who’s parents hail from Nigeria, has been capped just once for England, a 0-0 draw against Brazil back in 2017.

With Report Courtesy: Daily Mail Sports

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