President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick has revealed that he will return to England to meet with the managers of Chelsea and Manchester City Football Clubs, Jose Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini respectively.
Pinnick while recounting the benefits of his meeting with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger including the proposed training of the technical group made up of some coaches and ex-internationals on match reading as well as the promise to put Super Eagles coaches on refresher courses added that such visits will also make it easier for the clubs to always release Nigerian players in their teams for national assignment.
Pinnick according to the NFF website, stated that he was able to meet with some young Nigerian players and their parents on the need for them to come and play for their father land instead of representing other nations.
“I have heard of people saying why should I go and visit somebody like Arsene Wenger, the beauty of it is not quantifiable and in the next couple of weeks I will also be meeting with Mourinho and Pellegrini.
“The other time we wanted to call Kelechi Iheanacho and we heard issues about the coach and all that, but if I have a relationship with the coach it will just take a phone call.
“I spent about two hours with Arsene Wenger and he assured us clearly that he wants Chuba Akpom, Iweobi and Semi Ajayi to play for their country (of origin, Nigeria).
Pinnick spoke a little more about Iweobi who could not make his Nigerian U23 bow against Gabon in an All African Games qualifier on Saturday but is thought to be in line for a Super Eagles debut on March 26 in an international friendly against Bolivia.
“Talking about Iweobi, many people did not know how he came to Nigeria. It is very difficult for people to come down from England and play for Nigeria looking at the terrain but by God’s grace we have gone beyond that.”
However, the NFF president stated that the invitation of the players abroad does not mean that those playing at home are not good, but that there must be a new team that will be spiced up with players at home and young players in top European leagues.
“Honestly, the trip was very rewarding because personally I learnt from the Professor Wenger who brought a sheet of paper and was teaching me about administration, it is always good to learn from the best and he will take our technical study group for two sessions.
” He (Wenger) has equally agreed for any of our senior coaches to come for training and that is the reward of that visit,” Pinnick concluded.