Arsenal starlet Bukayo Saka admits he has yet to make ‘tough choice’ over whether he should represent England or Nigeria at senior international level
- Bukayo Saka has represented England at every level from Under 16 to Under 19’s
- The 18-year-old has been a breakout star for Arsenal in the league this season
- Gareth Southgate has been keeping tabs on the progress of the young winger
- Saka however is very proud of his Nigerian heritage and has yet to make a choice
Bukayo Saka has admitted that it will be a ‘tough choice’ over whether to represent England or Nigeria at senior international level.
The 18-year-old has been a breakout star for Arsenal this season, scoring four goals and providing 11 assists in 39 appearances across all competitions.
The winger has represented England at Under 16 to Under 19 age groups, but he is also eligible to represent Nigeria should he want to do so.
Nigeria are hoping to fast-track Bukayo Saka into the senior squad before England
The Arsenal youngster has yet to make a choice over where his international future lies
It is a big decision for the teenage sensation, who admitted to Sky Sports that it will be a ‘tough choice’ for him.
‘I’m happy to have represented England at youth level but I’m also proud of my Nigerian heritage from my parents.
‘We haven’t been picked by any team so it’s about staying humble and when the time comes we’ll make the decision.’
In the past Chelsea and England players Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham have previously turned down a chance to play for the Super Eagles.
However, former Arsenal man Alex Iwobi, Victor Moses and Shola Ameobi plead their allegiances to Nigeria after featuring for the youth teams of England beforehand.
Nigeria are prepared to fast-track the left-sided utility player into the senior set-up in the hope of persuading him to choose an international career with the Super Eagles.
Their ploy to tempt Saka has taken a back seat in recent weeks owing to the long delay in international football due to coronavirus. But with national team matches due to return in September, the Nigeria Football Federation will ramp up their efforts, with Saka still to make a final decision.
Despite this, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick has previously insisted the country is blessed with talent and will not beg Arsenal starlet Bukayo Saka or any player to represent the Super Eagles.
Gareth Southate is keeping a close eye on several young stars including the Arsenal winger
As reported by Goal, Pinnick said in an Instagram Live chat: ‘Saka is an excellent prospect but we have other players in his position who are playing so well.
‘We have talents everywhere so we won’t beg people to play for Nigeria. It is about ardour and fervour, If it’s their desire and they merit it, they’ll be given a chance to represent Nigeria.’
England meanwhile have a raft of young stars who have emerged as possible future international stars, and players to watch out for ahead of next year’s delayed European Championships.
Nigeria have persuaded the likes of Alex Iwobi and Victor Moses to snub England in past years
Manager Gareth Southgate is keeping a close eye on Saka and Manchester United striker Mason Greenwood, while Jude Bellingham recently became the most expensive 17-year-old in history after completing a £25m move to Borussia Dortmund.
Saka said: ‘Greenwood and Bellingham have so much quality. Whether they are 18 or 28 or 38 they’ve got quality and when you’ve got quality you’re going to be in the team, providing you can apply the right attitude,”
‘I feel the age isn’t really a factor because they’ve got maturity and quality beyond their years. That’s why they’re being trusted I believe.’
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