Former Chelsea and Super Eagles midfielder John Mikel Obi has made a bold call for in-form Middlesbrough striker Chuba Akpom to be given a chance with the national team.
The former Arsenal forward, eligible to represent Nigeria and England, has been in sensational form this season, scoring 28 goals to top the goal-scorers chart in the English Championship.
Obi, surprised that Akpom has not earned an international call-up, believes that the Super Eagles’ head coach, Jose Peseiro, should invite the striker to the team ahead of the upcoming international window in June when Nigeria will face Sierra Leone.
In an interview with OWNGOAL Nigeria (as per Daily Post), Mikel Obi said, “It’s a straightforward choice if you ask me. You are doing it for your team, then you at least get an invitation (national team).
“28 goals and not a chance yet with Nigeria then you have to ask the coach why the top-scorer in the championship is not yet in his team. Even England I believe will have a look at him with the way he is going.”
Obi, who believes that inviting in-form Akpom will be a motivation to others, also stated that rewarding players doing well at their respective teams sends a message to others to work hard.
However, Peseiro has enough options in attack with Victor Osimhen, Terem Moffi, Ademola Lookman, Kelechi Iheanacho, and Paul Onuachu on his list for the last international window.
The Portuguese manager had earlier stated that he did not have enough confidence in Akpom but added that the national team is open to everybody.
With the European season set to be over by the next international window, it remains to be seen if Nigeria will heed Obi’s call and hand the former Arsenal striker a chance.
Akpom, who has expressed his desire to represent Nigeria, was named the EFL Championship Player of the Season on Sunday night, adding more weight to Obi’s call.