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New twist in Ademola Lookman saga

Everton’s young winger decides to turn down England

England v Latvia: UEFA Under 21 Championship Qualifiers Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images


Lookman has been named in the starting XI for England’s U21 side today against Latvia. This does not change anything, as he can still switch to Nigeria as long as it’s before October 20th, his 21st birthday (or if he gets called up to the England senior side).

All summer long Ademola Lookman looked like he wanted out of Everton in favour of joining RB Leipzig where he spent half of last season on loan. Now it looks like he’s holding out again, but this time at the national team level.

Nigerian media outlet Pulse claims in an exclusive report that the youngster is close to announcing that he will switch allegiances to the Super Eagles despite having made 27 appearances for various England youth sides.

Lookman was born in England, but to Nigerian parents and as such is eligible to play for either country at the youth level, before choosing one or the other at the senior level. The 20-year-old had been courted by the Nigerian Football Federation earlier in the year, but turned them down. However, now it appears he has changed his mind, though the report doesn’t say why he did so. The Blues already have one representative on the Super Eagles in Henry Onyekuru, and he could now be joined by Lookman.

FIFA regulations state that after turning 21 a player can switch their allegiance once and only if they haven’t played for a competitive game for the men’s senior team, which Lookman has not.

His path in the youth side also appears to be blocked by experienced youngsters like Josh Onomah, Demarai Gray and Ryan Sessegnon. The Everton player was called up by Aidy Boothroyd last week for England’s Under-21 side for the Euro 2019 qualifiers, but was not in the matchday squad.

Nigeria meanwhile have ramped up efforts to get players of Nigerian origin to switch allegiances, including Alex Iwobi and Ola Aina, but Tammy Abraham declined the offer to continue to try breaking through with the Three Lions.