World Youth Championship

Why An African Country Can Share In England’s World Youth Championship Glory

June 2017 brought smiles to the faces of fans of English football; for the first time since 1966, England lifted a global trophy in football. It was all thanks to her youth team – The Young Lions. However, somewhere in Africa, the most populous black nation is also sharing in England’s euphoria.

Paul Simpson deserves a big pat on the back (if he hasn’t already gotten one); by guiding the Young Lions of England to World Cup victory, he has shown everyone just how bright a future England has in her youth players.

For the players who fought hard to make England’s triumph possible, they must improve upon their skill, panache and overall form if they can hope to become first team regulars with the Three Lions.

The Flying Eagles of Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2017 Under-20 World Cup, however, in the English squad, not less than six players who are eligible to feature for Nigeria were on parade.

At least five of these English players with Nigerian descent were stand out performers in England’s successful outing in South Korea. These young gems are the reason why Nigerians are raising eyebrows over England’s conquest in Asia.

Still wondering who these players are? Below is a short bio on each of the six.

1. Dominic Solanke

Yes, Solanke is of Nigerian decent and is still eligible to play for Nigeria. Since 2004, Solanke has been on the payroll of the Chelsea youth team where he has been a prolific goalscorer. This July, Solanke will join up with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool; hopefully, he gets more opportunity with the first team.

Dominic Solanke was voted the best player at the just concluded World Youth Championship; he finished the tournament as the tournament’s leading scorer.

2. Ademola Lookman

Lookman is the most expensive player on the England youth team – he’s worth £11 million. It cost Everton that much to acquire his signature from Charlton. Ademola Lookman is a Nigerian, born to Nigerian parents, although he’ll never play for Nigeria.

Lookman shone brilliantly for the Young Lions in South Korea. The Everton striker scored three goals to help his team to the world title.

3. Oluwaseyi Ojo

19-year-old Oluwaseyi Ojo is a Liverpool prodigy who played a big part in England’s triumph. Ojo is Nigerian, having been born to parents who hail from the West African nation.

Formerly attached to Milton Keynes Dons, Ojo joined Liverpool in 2011. He has played for England at every youth level.

4. Joshua Onomah

Josh Onomah is highly rated by Tottenham gaffer, Mauricio Pochettino. It’s, therefore, no surprise that Onomah has played over thirty senior games in two seasons under the Argentine tactician.

Joshua Onomah is by birth a Nigerian. Regardless, his allegiance is to England for whom he has played at every age grade level. Onomah was a delight to watch in the heart of the Young Lions midfield.

5. Fikayo Tomori

A Chelsea player, Fikayo Tomori is another Nigerian who helped make it happen for England in South Korea. Tomori struggled to get playing time with Brighton, with whom he had spent last season on loan.

The 19-year-old was, however, a stalwart in the defence for Paul Simpson’s side. If given more playing time at club level, Tomori could really blossom.

6. Ovie Ejaria

Ovie Ejaria is a Liverpool prospect who by birth is a Nigerian. Aged 19, Ejaria is highly regarded by Jurgen Klopp who gave him his first team debut with the Reds. The midfielder was formerly contracted to Arsenal.

Ovie Ejaria featured in the England's World Cup victory although not too prominently.

With so many Nigerians on parade in England’s success at the World Youth Championship, Nigerians could not help falling in love with the Young Lions and just as in the case of Anthony Joshua, celebrated England success as if it were theirs.

About the Author Kingsley

I am a football/soccer connoisseur who enjoys crafting interesting articles like the one you just read.

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