Nigeria, England in tug of war over Adarabioyo
Who will blink first or better still, who will make the first move? That is perhaps the big question as Nigeria Football Federation NFF and the England FA work towards having Nigeria born Manchester City defender Tosin Adarabioyo in their senior team fold
The highly-rated central defender has been tipped for senior international honours and represented England juniors all the way up to Under-19 level. However, the 20-year-old is being targeted by Nigeria, his country of heritage further intensified by the desire of countries who have qualified for the World cup in Russia to aggregate all their best legs with a view to selecting the best in each department for the showdown in Russia from June 14 to July 15.
Adarabioyo was made available for loan by City during the final 48 hours of the transfer window following the signing of Aymeric Laporte but a deal failed to materialise, with the youngster named on the bench by Pep Guardiola for City’s win over West Brom on Wednesday night.
The Super Eagles technical crew plan to watch Adarabioyo play sustained senior football before deciding whether to tempt him with a place in their World Cup squad.
Nevertheless, Nigeria’s concrete interest in Adarabioyo remains, leaving the Football Association in a fight to keep hold of the defender, who has made seven first-team appearances for City.
Nigeria has successfully persuaded Victor Moses and Alex Iwobi, who have both played for England at the junior level, to change their international allegiance in recent years. Ogbonna who plays for West Ham, however, opted to play for Italy.
Players are only fully committed to a nation once they’ve played a competitive fixture. He was listed but did not play in the 1-1 Man City draw against Burnley on Saturday
Adarabioyo joined the youth system at Manchester City at five, made his U18 debut for the club at 14 and was captain of the U18s at16. On 21 February 2016, Adarabioyo made his first-team debut in an FA Cup match against Chelsea.He made his Champions League debut on 24 August 2016, as a substitute in a 1–0 win over Steaua București, in a Champions League play-off round match.
Interestingly Nigeria and England have a friendly match scheduled for June 2nd at the Wimbley stadium where Adarabioyo may be listed to play for either side depending on who eventually succeeds in the ongoing tug of war.