Super Eagles Captain Mikel Obi has urged Chelsea youngster Ola Aina to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Alex Iwobi in picking Nigeria ahead of England.
The 19-year-old impressed in pre-season for the Blues and made his debut against Bristol Rovers. He signed a new deal in the summer at Stamford Bridge but currently plays international football at age grade level for England.
Mikel would like the youngster who has Nigerian parents to switch allegiance to Nigeria but admits that Aina must first show that he really wants to play for Nigeria for him to help him make a case with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
“I keep asking him: ‘When are you going to come and play for Nigeria?’ and he jokes: ‘Whenever you come and invite me I will play!” Mikel told Goal. “I think it is something that we would have to discuss.
“If he wants to play, we would have to speak to the federation and make sure that he really wants to play for Nigeria. If he is ready, we can talk about, but in the few times we have talked about it, he hasn’t given me a very positive, decisive answer to take back to the FA.
“I need a positive answer for me to take the case forward to the FA. We will see what happens.”
Mikel is currently in Ndola where Nigeria will play Zambia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Sunday.