Rohr, NFF push for Everton’s Lookman

Rohr, NFF push for Everton’s Lookman

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr is pushing hard on all fronts to convince  Everton wonder kid AdemolaLookman  to switch his international allegiance to Nigeria.


 

Rohr, receiving the backing from the Nigeria Football Federation, appears to have succeeded in  convincing Chelsea right-back Ola Aina and Arsenal forward ChubaAkpom to choose Nigeria ahead of England, after the England-born players took part in a closed-door friendly match  between two teams formed from the Super  Eagles squad in London on Monday.

Former Gabon manager Rohr  is also said to have picked up commitments from Sunderland attacking  Josh Maja (18), Charlton Athletic midfielder Joe Aribo (20),  Millwall midfielder  Fred Onyedinma (20) and  Queens Park Rangers forward EberechiEze (18) to pledge their  international futures to the country where their fathers were born.

London-born Lookman, who  joined high-riding Everton  from Charlton Athletic in  a deal  reportedly worth £11m in  January,  has represented England’s Under-19s and Under-20s.

But the forward, who announced himself at Everton with a brilliant  goal with  his second touch in the 4-0 hammering  of Manchester City at  Goodison Park on January 15, is eligible to play for  Nigeria through his parents.

Although the  19-year-old, who is favourite to lead the line for England  at the  European U21 Championships in Poland in June, has yet to decide on his senior international future, Rohr and the NFF had exerted increasing pressure on the player to follow in the footsteps of Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi and Chelsea’s Victor Moses, who opted to play for the Super Eagles.

But  it was learnt on Tuesday that the 63-year-old  former Bordeaux  manager had redoubled his efforts to finally trap the teenager ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa on June 9, as well as the 2018 World Cup qualifying double-header against Cameroon.

NFF president AmajuPinnick had decided to take  advantage of the Eagles’ friendly games in London to help Rohr secure the services of English-born or English-raised players, with Lookman the number one  target, for the national team.

Pinnick is said to have met with Lookman’s representatives in England, but sources said the player  has yet to make any commitment regarding playing for Nigeria.

However, It was learnt that the English FA  are aware of the moves being made by Nigeria to land the player and  have  been trying hard to keep him  for the Three Lions, after losing   Moses and Iwobi to Nigeria after representing England at youth levels.

 

Report by Miyen Akiri

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