January 28, 2023

England regret losing Iwobi, Moses

March 3, 2017

• Move to stop Lookman


The Football Association have hatched a plan to pluck the best African players in academy football to play for England.

Arsenal youngster Alex Iwobi, who moved to England from Nigeria at the age of four, is an example of the scenario the FA want to avoid.

There is a belief within the England set-up that Iwobi, despite being only 20, would be in the senior squad now.

However, despite playing for England at junior level, Iwobi pledged his international future to Nigeria, and already has eight caps to his name.

Football authorities in England are also fearful of losing Everton youngster Ademola Lookman, who was born in Wandsworth and has played for England at junior level, to Nigeria.

Victor Moses and Wilfried Zaha – two of the African players who have made the most appearances in the Premier League this season – both turned their back on representing England.

Players are not fully committed to a nation until they have played a competitive fixture for their country, but the FA will provide kids as young as 13 with a clear international pathway in a bid to prevent them from pursuing a career elsewhere.

The move has been welcomed by Premier League clubs as it ensures they will not lose players to the Africa Cup of Nations.

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