Former Aston Villa forward John Fashanu has expressed his disappointment over the decision of Liverpool winger, Jordon Ibe, to play for England instead of Nigeria.
Fashanu, who played for England, told our correspondent on Sunday that Ibe would regret shunning Nigeria later in his football career.
Last week, the 19-year-old Ibe, who has played for England at the U-18, U-19, U-20 and U-21 levels, confirmed his decision to play for England at the senior level instead of Nigeria, even though he was approached by Nigeria coach Sunday Oliseh.
Speaking from his experience, Fashanu, who won two caps for England, said Ibe would likely get only a few caps for the English senior team, whereas with Nigeria, he has a chance to play international football for a much longer period.
Fashanu said, “It is disappointing that Ibe chose England instead of Nigeria. In my own case, I decided to come to Nigeria to have trials. I came three times when Brazilian coach, Otto Gloria, was in charge. I wanted to play for Nigeria. I know how let down I felt when I wasn’t selected, even though I put Nigeria first. We have been advising many dual nationality players to play for their fatherland.
“What will happen is that England will give Ibe two or three opportunities and they will discard him. So it is a case of him learning from his own experiences. At the moment, the Nigeria Football Federation seems to be settling now and getting more organised now. I thought that the new developments in our football would have spurred Ibe on to decide to come and play for Nigeria.
“If he didn’t succeed, then he could go and play for England. Everybody may be a bit disappointed but at the end of the day, it is his choice. He knows what he wants but I think later on in life, he will regret this decision to opt forEngland instead of Nigeria.”
The former Norwich City player praised Oliseh, describing him as “a good manager,” who is young, “dynamic and flexible in his approach.”
The 1988 FA Cup winner (with Wimbledon) added that Ibe had a good chance to do well if he had decided to play for Nigeria under Oliseh.
Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has praised Ibe for his performance against Bordeaux in the Europa League last week. The Reds fought hard to get result as the game ended 1-1 in France.
“If you take those two, Jordon Ibe who is 19, Joe Gomez who is 18, there was great encouragement for the young players and supporters,” Rodgers told Independent.
“As the game wore on, they combined with the other players and I thought they acquitted themselves well.
“I was so proud of them. I will always give the young players an opportunity if they have the personality.”