England or Nigeria: Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka says he is Proud of his Nigerian heritage

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Bukayo Saka has described the responsibility of choosing between representing Nigeria or England as a tough one, noting that he is proud of his parents’ heritage.

Both parents of Arsenal‘s winger who can also play as a left-back, are Nigerian immigrants in London. They left Nigeria years before Bukayo Saka was born. He was born on 5 September 2001 in Ealing, England, which makes him eligible to play for either England or Nigeria.

Though Saka has represented England at under-16, under-17, under-18 and under-19 level, his eligibility to play for the senior national team of Nigeria, known as the Super Eagles, is still intact.

The Nigeria Football Federation has been monitoring the progress of the 18-year-old Arsenal star especially after scoring four goals and made 11 assists in 38 games for Arsenal in the 2019-2020 season.

Currently, reports are saying that the leadership of the football governing body in Nigeria has started the process that will lead Saka to play for the country. Reports are also speculating that the NFF might attempt to extend an invitation to Saka when international football resumes in September.

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In the other hand, England national team manager, Gareth Southgate, has been monitoring the progress of the Arsenal youngster and could be tempted to tie him down by capping him when England face Wales on October 8 in a friendly match.

“It’s a tough choice,” Saka told Sky Sports on Friday. “I’m happy to have represented England at youth level but I’m also proud of my Nigerian heritage from my parents.

“We haven’t been picked by any team so it’s about staying humble and when the time comes we’ll make the decision.”

Bukayo Saka is Most likely to choose England ahead of Nigeria

Bukayo Saka
Bukayo Saka

Though England has won over a series of footballers who have Nigerian parents to the Three Lions including Dele Alli, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and a host of others, Nigeria has also succeeded in persuading a couple of England born Nigerians to play for the Super Eagles; top on the list are Alex Iwobi, Ola Aina and Victor Moses

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Saka who has just been given a number 7 shirt at Arsenal after extending his contract with the club until 2024, has visited Nigeria a couple of times but the likelihood of leaving England for Nigeria is very low. He might end up following the footsteps of Chelsea’s Tammy and Fikayo.

However, the father of the Arsenal star could be the penetrating factor to get him to play for the Super Eagles. Saka has once described his father as “a massive inspiration for me. From when I was young, he always kept me grounded”, meaning that he would always do what his father says.

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