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England Under 20 World Cup Hero Set To Switch Allegiance To Nigeria

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England Under 20 World Cup Hero Set To Switch Allegiance To Nigeria

England youth standout Ademola Lookman is hoping to switch his international allegiance to Nigeria, as prospects of an England call-up diminish.

The Leicester City youngster, who previously played for the likes of Charlton, Everton and RB Leipzig, was born in the UK, but he is eligible to play for Nigeria on account of his parents.

Lookman represented England at U19, U20 and U21 level, with the undisputed highlight of his time in the junior ranks being 2017's U-20 World Cup triumph.

The 24-year-old starred in the tournament alongside the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Fikayo Tomori, netting three goals en-route to the final.

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Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

Things have been more turbulent at club level since then, although the 20/21 campaign was something of a breakthrough for Lookman, as he made 34 Premier League appearances for Fulham in their ultimately fateful attempt to avoid relegation.

However, that campaign was enough to convince Leicester City to take a chance on the pacey winger, who has already scored twice for his new club this season.

With Gareth Southgate currently spoilt for choice when it comes to high-qualify wingers and forwards, even if Lookman does continue to impress under Brendan Rodgers, a call-up to England's senior squad is still highly unlikely.

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Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

Just yesterday we saw the likes of Jadon Sancho, Emile Smith-Rowe and Mason Greenwood all missing out on his latest 23-man World Cup qualifier squad, which once again highlights the depth England have in attack.

Previously, the wide-man turned down three official approaches from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to represent the African nation instead.

Speaking in 2020, Lookman stated: "I've not changed my mind [on wanting to represent England] but I'm open, and it's good to have different opportunities."

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One year on, the player appears to have had a change of heart. BBC Sport reports that Lookman has officially began the process to switch allegiances to Nigeria, where opportunities to play regular international football will be more readily available.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

It could turn out to be a lengthy process, as Lookman's appearances for England's junior sides complicate matters somewhat - meaning he will have to wait a bit longer to make his debut for the Super Eagles.

NFF chief scout Tunde Adelakun told the BBC: "We are aware of Lookman's desire to play for us and I have spoken to him as well. However, there is a process to it."

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"After this process, then comes the consideration and decision of the head coach [Rohr] on whether or when he deems it fit to get him involved."

Topics: Leicester City, Premier League, England, Gareth Southgate

Tom Fenton
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