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Lookman switches allegiance to Nigeria’s national team from England

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Ademola Lookman

Leicester City forward Ademola Lookman has officially switched to Nigeria and will likely represent the Super Eagles in upcoming international matches.

Lookman was not called into Nigeria’s upcoming November international fixtures, but could be a part of the squad for team’s next set of fixtures.

Lookman, who has played club football for Everton, RB Leipzig, and Fulham, joined Leicester City in the Premier League offseason.

The winger decided to switch his international allegiance to Nigeria from England, but must wait to make his debut. The Africa Cup of Nations will kick off in January and football fans around the world are debating which team will win the tournament.

The London-born player has struggled to break into the English national team, but hopes to get into the Nigeria team more easily.

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The 24-year-old has made 11 appearances for Leicester City thus far in 2021-22, scoring two goals.

He hasn’t been a regular for manager Brendan Rodgers, tallying just 548 minutes in 11 matches for an average of 50 minutes per appearance.

In 2020-21, Lookman played on loan at Fulham.

He scored four goals in 35 matches for the Cottagers, despite the team being relegated from the Premier League.

Lookman started his career in Charlton Athletics’ football academy in 2014.

He made a fast rise through the club’s academy and played for the first-team in November 2015.

Everton signed Lookman to a four-and-a-half-year-contract in January 2017. The forward scored four goals in 48 matches for Everton.

After a short loan at RB Leipzig in 2017-18, he signed a permanent five-year contract in July 2019 with the German club.

Lookman played for England at the youth level. He was a part of the England under-20 team that won the FIFA U20 World Cup in 2017.

Lookman is able to play for Nigeria thanks to his parents’ being Nigerian.

What’s the hold-up?

Although Lookman has switched allegiances to Nigeria from England, he will have to wait to make his debut for the team.

The Nigeria Football Federation hasn’t applied to FIFA for Lookman’s nationality change due to the player competing for England at U19, U20, and U21 level.

According to the Nigerian Football Federation, they are aware of Lookman’s intention to play for the national.

The national team will now look into completing the process to allow Lookman to play for Nigeria.

The football federation has stressed that manager Gernot Rohr would consider Lookman for the national team, if the player becomes eligible.

However, Lookman would not be an automatic selection.

Lookman is not the only player seeking a switch to align themselves with the Nigeria national team.

Milwall’s Sheyi Ojo, on loan from Liverpool; Reading’s Ovie Ejaria; PAOK’s Chuba Akpom; and Genk’s Ike Ugbo have also expressed their intentions to become members of the Nigeria national football team.

All four of the players have Nigerian parents despite being born elsewhere.

Nigeria’s national team has a number of exciting young forward players.

Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze, Bordeaux’s Samuel Kalu, and Lorient’s Terem Moffi are all in contention for regular places in the Nigeria team.

Lookman would compete with the trio of players for a spot in the national side.

The Eagle

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Ronaldo says media lies about Man United future

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Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo has hit out at the “lies” surrounding reports about his future at Manchester United.

The Portugal forward missed United’s pre-season tour to Thailand and Australia due to personal reasons as speculation swirled over whether he would be leaving Old Trafford.

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It has been reported Ronaldo wants to play Champions League football, but United maintain the 37-year-old is not for sale and remains an integral part of the plans of new boss Erik ten Hag.

In a reply to a fan account on Instagram that referred to a report linking the United frontman to Atletico Madrid, Ronaldo said fans would “know the truth” in a couple of weeks, adding: “The media is telling lies.”

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Falconets beat Canada, to face the Netherlands in quarter-final

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The Nigeria U-20 women ‘s team, the Falconets early Thursday morning rounded off their group stage campaign in the ongoing World Cup taking place in Costa Rica in style; beating Canada 3-1 at the Estadio Alajuela Morera Soto.

The Falconets will face the Netherlands in the quarter-final phase of the tournament.

Coach Chris Danjuma had before now relied on late goals to secure slim 1-0 wins over France and the Korea Republic but the game against Canada was a completely different ball game.

It was the Canadian girls that drew the first blood from an error in the Falconets’ defence.

But two goals from the penalty spot by Esther Onyenezide and another goal in the second half by Chioma Olise saw the Falconets cruising to their biggest win so far in the ongoing tournament in Costa Rica.

Coach Danjuma said before the Canada tie that his girls would seek to win even though they had already booked their place in the last eight.

After falling behind to the early Canada goal, Onyenezide, whose vicious curling shot earned all three points against the Korea Republic, drew the Falconets level from the penalty spot in the 24th minute.

Defender Mia Pante who had handled the ball from a Blessing Okpe shot in the box gifted Nigeria a way back into the game.

Onyenezide was on hand to shoot Nigeria into the lead, also from the spot, in the 32nd minute after Simi Awujo’s dangerous play against Mercy Idoko.

As the Nigeria U20s ended the first half 2-1, nothing suggested the Canadians could mount a fightback in the second half, instead, it was the Falconets that increased their lead.

Substitute Chioma Olise got Nigeria’s third goal as the Falconets finished top in Group C with nine points from three games.

With Thursday’s outcome, the Falconets now have a quarter-final date with The Netherlands in Alajuela on Monday.

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Osimhen scores, taunts racist Verona fans

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Victor Osimhen

Victor Osimhentaunted racist Hellas Verona fans after he scored his first Serie A goal of the season for Napoli, who fought back from a goal down to win 5-2 at the Stadio Bentegodi stadium on Monday, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

The Nigerian striker also made a back heel flick assist for Matteo Politano to score Napoli’s fifth goal from 12 yards in the rout.

Kevin Lasagna’s cushioned volley at the back post shot Verona into the lead in the 29th minute, but parity was restored when Kvicha Kvaratskhelia headed in Chucky Lozano’s cross eight minutes later.

Napoli turned it around with a goal almost identical to Verona’s, this time a corner was flicked on by Giovanni Di Lorenzo for Osimhen to score with a flexible attempt at the far post.

After scoring to hand the Partenopei a 2-1 lead in the 46th minute, the 23-year-old kicked the ball into the stands in anger at the Hellas Verona fans, who had been hurling racist abuses and monkey chants at him each time he touched the ball during the encounter.

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The Nigeria international also mocked the fans by pretending to cry into the camera as he celebrated his goal with his teammates.

The former Lille striker, who was replaced in the 83rd minute of the win by Adam Ounas, was booked for a foul on Koray Guenter in the 54th minute.

Napoli host Monza at the Diego Maradona stadium on Saturday.

Reacting to his side’s win Osimhen said, “It is important for us to start well because we have lost some great players.

“I am very happy for this victory because it was not easy. We have to feel like last year. This victory shows we are on the right track. I don’t care how many goals I score, I will score to help the team but I always put the team first.

“Spalletti trusts me and he tries to encourage me, it is normal to make some mistakes during matches. He also helps me a lot with individual work.”

On being one of the leaders in the team, the 23-year-old said, “It is important that we all have to take a share of the responsibility. I’m in my third year at the club and it is important for me to encourage new ones like Kvaratskhelia. He had predicted my goal two minutes earlier

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