Arsenal won’t stop Akpom playing for Nigeria

I saw great promise in Chuba Akpom when he played 20 minutes for Arsenal against Aston Villa a few weeks ago, and it seems that the Nigerian Football Federation have also noticed his ability and is keen for the 19 year-old to choose to play for his ancestral country.

Akpom was actually born in Canning Town and has played for England at U16 to U20 levels, but the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, is keen for him and Semi Ajayi, who was born in Lagos, to play for Nigeria as full internationals.

Mr. Pinnick had a meeting with Wenger at our training ground and said afterwards: “As we had always known, Arsene is very knowledgeable; vast in his knowledge and appreciation of Nigeria as a footballing country, and widely philosophical in his general approach”.

“He told me that he has never stopped any player from opting for whichever national team he wants. He said to me that he always tells his players to follow their hearts and not allow people to push them. He further assured that if Nigeria extended a call-up to either or both of his players, he will have no objection if the players say they want to go,”

“Arsene told us that he will gladly do what he can to assist where we want, and has already started giving encouraging signs towards the capacity building exercises for our coaches at all levels,”

Akpom has never, to my knowledge, given any hint about which country he would prefer to play for, but I personally can’t see Wenger encouraging his players to join any country that wants to take away his best players for a whole month during the season, every two years, to play in the African Cup of Nations….

Tags Ajayi Akpom Nigeria


  1. Invincibles49 says:

    Why cant we win CL this season? Liverpool did it and we have a better team than that right now! I dare to dream and hope Wenger instills this belief in the team.

    1. Kotte says:

      We cant win the CL coz there are many teams better than us…u cnt evn dream of that trophy haha!

      1. YingYang69 says:

        Of course you can dream, he pointed out liv and rightly so as anyone who witnessed can testify. Also porto done it with some very good players but nothing of Sanchez Ozil ilk. Che are strong favorites from England but psg should have put at least three past them and che goal was thanks to their daft ex brazilian import. You just never know, if it was otherwise well then we would be spanking the bookies instead of getting spanked, or spent.

        1. Mistamonn says:

          Moreover Chelski did it by parking da bus.

      2. Invincibles49 says:

        AM won the LaLiga riding on belief and hard work. SAF won his PL with a mediocre team. Liverpool’s UCL win was like the shock of the decade. Our team has so much more of quality. All we lack is belief , ambition and the guts. That is the beauty of this sport. It allows to dream BIG if you are willing to.

      3. sevenitti says:

        Teams better than Liverpool the season they won CL: AC Milan, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Juventus, Manchester United, Barcelona. If CL was all about who had the better team, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Bayern would be the only ones with a real shot at it for the last 15 years.

        1. Bob says:

          same goes for Chelsea a few years back. Luck was a massive part in their win

      4. Twig says:

        The best team doesn’t always win the CL. Ask our neighbours.

  2. muda says:

    Please Akpom be the next KANU of arsenal, I am Nigerian gunner and that will make me proud. #COYG

    1. YingYang69 says:

      Did you ever see Kanu play, strange comparison. I dont think i have ever seen a player who i could liken to Kanu. At times maybe jj Okocha or Ibrahimovic would do something out of the ordinary that would be a bit Kanuish but ive never seen the next Kanu, totally a one off.

      1. muda says:

        I wasn’t comparing KANU and Akpom in term of talent or ability, but NIGERIAN GOONERS (my fellow gunners and countrymen) that’s all.

  3. Sir Bee says:

    The future of nigerian football is bright…..Semi Ajayi, Ihenacho, chuba akpom, chuks aneke, taiwo awoniyi, issac promise….hmmmmmm

  4. muda says:

    What if I tell you we were the most deserved team in 2006, but didn’t win back then.
    It has something to do with luck I think,
    starting from

    A) the team you draw,

    B) some match winning moments that’s decide the tie,
    C) the team’s believe
    And many other factors, CL is not all about the best team win. So I think we have a slim chance.

      1. Kotte says:

        Trust me we cnt win the CL man stop lying to urself…i knw arsenal in and out they can beat smol teams comfortable bt onc they face bg teams we crumble…i hv never dreamt of that trophy am jst patient our time will come bt its nt now!

        1. sevenitti says:

          Manchester City sure is a minor club in England.

  5. SaveArsenal says:

    Clubs should block players who choose to go play in Africa for a month at a vital point in the season.
    If Akpom was #1 striker and pissed off when the 2nd choice striker was injured, well that wouldn’t fly for me.
    Either the African Cup is outside PL playing times or important players don’t go, simple.

    1. it’s easy for you to say, because you have no interest in African football. I agree that maybe a time that doesn’t clash with the EPL would be ideal.

      But some players are passionate about thier contries and very patriotic. Imagine Wayne Rooney saying he doesn’t wanna represent England in an International Tournament …

    2. Mistamonn says:

      Are you saying players who desire to represent their fatherland should not be allowed to? Bollocks!!!

  6. Twig says:

    Akpom should play for Arsenal!

    1. sanmi.marvellous says:

      Akpom playing for Arsenal and Nigeria are mutually exclusive!
      So, what is the stress all about ?

      1. Twig says:

        Are you new?

  7. Wonder says:

    That will be the end of his arsenal Career if he chooses Nigeria. he will ow need a work permit plus it looks like Wenger is no longer interested in African players, He learnt hsi lessons with Adebayor, Toure, Gervinho , Eboue and Lauren just to name a few

  8. says:

    I want to know if the Gooners have ever racially chanted. I have never heard or read about racial abuse or chants by the Gooners. If there were, please let me know through this our Gooners forum, the That Paris subway train racial abuse and racial chants by the Chelsea fans mark a big difference between the racialess Gooners and the racial chants Bad Boys in terms of social and racial integration. Nonetheless the acceptability inbetween the Gooners. I want Akpom to star for the Super Eagles of Nigeria if he loves to star for them. However, Akpom has to follow professional advice and above all, follow what his mind has choose.

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