News Live Scores
WC Qualification Africa

2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Nigeria’s Lookman elated to represent Super Eagles after first call up

8:02 pm AEDT 5/3/22
Ademola Lookman of Nigeria and Leicester City.
The 24-year-old is ready to put on the Super Eagles shirt when they face the Black Stars in the two-legged qualifier

Leicester City attacker Ademola Lookman has revealed his delight at being handed his first call up for Nigeria ahead of their 2022 World Cup qualifying fixture against Ghana.

The 24-year-old, who is on loan at the Premier League side from German club RB Leipzig, saw his dream come true when Nigeria coach Augustine Eguavoen named him in the provisional squad for the two-legged fixture against the Black Stars.

Early in January, Lookman, who is enjoying good form with the Foxes, had his request to switch international allegiance from England to Nigeria granted by Fifa.

“And so it begins, my first call up and can’t wait to represent my country,” Lookman wrote on his social media pages. “See you soon Naija.”

Lookman was born in England to Nigerian parents and was eligible for the national teams of both countries. He received his first international call-up when he was named in the England U19 squad named for Mexico.

He was subsequently named in the squad for the European U19 Championships that summer and in early 2017, Lookman turned down the opportunity to switch allegiance to Nigeria after an approach from then national coach, Gernot Rohr.

Lookman was selected in the England team for the 2017 Fifa U20 World Cup. He scored three goals in the tournament, two against Costa Rica in the last 16 and one goal against Italy in the semi-finals.

England beat Venezuela 1-0 in the final, to achieve the country's first victory in the final of a global tournament since the 1966 World Cup.

Despite his caps and success for England at youth level, and having previously rejected Nigeria’s approaches, in January 2020 the Nigeria Football Federation announced Lookman would be switching his international allegiance to Nigeria.

Lookman, who has so far managed four top-flight goals for the Foxes after making 18 appearances, will hope to make his debut when Nigeria face Ghana in the first leg at Cape Coast Sports Stadium on March 25, before they meet again in the return leg four days later at Moshood Abiola National Stadium.

Nigeria squad to face Ghana; Goalkeepers: Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, Netherlands), Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa), Francis Uzoho (Omonia Nicosia, Cyprus).

Defenders: Ola Aina (Torino, Italy), Kenneth Omeruo (Leganes, Spain), Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal), William Troost Ekong (Watford, England), Sheyi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England), Leon Balogun (Rangers, Scotland), Calvin Bassey (Rangers, Scotland), Shehu Abdullahi (Omonia Nicosia, Cyprus).

Midfielders: Joe Aribo (Rangers, Scotland), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England), Frank Onyeka (Brentford, England), Peter Etebo (Watford, England), Akinkunmi Amoo ( FC Copenhagen, Denmark).

Forwards: Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal, Spain), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England), Moses Simon (Nantes, France), Sadiq Umar (Almeria, Spain), Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey), Victor Osimhen (Napoli, Italy), Odion Ighalo (Al Hilal, Saudi Arabia) Emmanuel Dennis (Watford, England), Ademola Lookman (Leicester City, England).

Stand-by list: Peter Olayinka (Slavia Prague, Czech Republic), Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor, Turkey), Jamilu Collins (Paderborn, Germany), Taiwo Awoniyi (Union Berlin, Germany), Paul Onuachu (Genk, Belgium), Ogenyi Onazi (Al Adalah, Saudi Arabia).