Nigeria are one of the country’s who over recent years have worked hardest to source players who may be eligible to represent them.
Going outside of those born in the country, they’ve looked into the family backgrounds of footballers to see which ones qualify and then targeted some of those who it’s felt could be a beneficial addition.
Huddersfield Town’s Philip Billing is one of the latest.
Born in Denmark, he’s represented the country at U19 and U21 level. His recent good performances for Huddersfield, especially against Wolves at the weekend, have seen him move more into the consciousness.
Danish newspaper BT say Nigeria are ‘trying to steal him’.
Complete Sport Nigeria have spoken to Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr and asked him about the player and the possibility of changing allegiances.
Rohr admitted there’d been talks but clearly didn’t want to hype the situation up any further: “One of my assistants in England saw him and spoke with him.
“There was a good contact but also we feel we have to be very cautious because the English Federation (clearly a misunderstanding) does not want to lose these players, we have to understand that also.
“The players have been formed and their academy work was done there (England) – the entire job done there. Now when the player is adult he says goodbye – I go with Nigeria. Not all those cases are pleasant. We have lots of cases like that in France with lots of Algerian players.”
“Lots of players grew up in France and then they go to Algeria. It’s not easy to accept that. But they must really be motivated and excited to come with us. we will not push.”
If Nigeria are really interested in Billing then it may be good for them to realise he’s from Denmark and his first club was Esbjerg fB.