AFCON 2022: NFF begins move for German-born Nmecha

The Nigeria Football Federation is taking steps to convince young Manchester City striker Lukas Nmecha to commit his international future to his father’s place of birth, according to Bild.

Born in Hamburg to a German mother and a Nigerian father, Nmecha is eligible to play for both nations and England, where he relocated to as a child with his family.

The 22-year-old has already represented England at every youth level, notably helping the Young Lions to win the 2017 European U-19 tournament after scoring the winner against Portugal in the final.

Last year, Nmecha declared for Germany and was instantly included in their U-21 squad for the first time.

He became a hero a few weeks later when he scored four goals and emerged top scorer at the 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship Final to power Germany to the title. Nmecha scored the only goal in a 1–0 win over Portugal in the final of that competition.

Highly rated at City, Nmecha was sent to Anderlecht on loan last season and the young forward impressed as he scored 21 goals in 41 games in all competitions for the Belgian giants.

His performances for club and country have kept him under the radar of both England and Germany, but none of the two European nations has given him assurances for the senior team.
The Manchester City youth product will not be at the Euro 2021 with any team.

Nmecha could, however, consider switching his international allegiance to Nigeria, with the African nation already qualified for the 2022 African Cup of Nations and favourites to make it to the FIFA World Cup next year.

Nigeria have had difficulty convincing Crystal Palace’s Ebere Eze to play for the Super Eagles in recent times. But thanks to Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi, William Troost-Ekong, among others, the NFF has a decent history of getting players of Nigerian descent to play for their father’s land. 

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