AUSTIN OKOCHA WARNS NEDUM ONUOHA OVER NIGERIA SNUB
Former England Under-21 defender Onuoha plays for Manchester City
Jay Jay Okocha has warned Nedum Onuoha against pledging his international future to England rather than Nigeria.
Ex-England Under-21 defender Onuoha was turned down a World Cup invite from the Super Eagles.
Okocha, who won 75 caps for Nigeria, feels the 23-year-old Manchester City defender could regret his decision.
“Playing for Nigeria would have afforded him the chance of [featuring] at the World Cup which attracts better offers for him,” Okocha said.
“I just hope he won't live to regret that action for the rest of his life,” added the former Hull City and Bolton midfielder.
“If I were him, I would grab the chance of playing for Nigeria rather than beg for an England shirt.”
Onuoha was a key player for the England Under-21s two years ago.
But he can still switch allegiance as he is yet to play for the England senior side.
The defender was not fully committed on a decision on his international future when he spoke to Nigeria manager Lars Lagerback last month forcing the Swede to leave him out his provisional World Cup squad.
But the versatile Onuoha has since been overlooked by Fabio Capello as England prepare for their World Cup campaign in South Africa.
Meanwhile, Lagerback has dismissed claims that his provisional squad of 30-players for the World Cup was influenced by hierarchy of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Lagerback insisted that he took several things into consideration before cutting down his squad without the opportunity of meeting all forty-four players in his original squad.
“What I have done with my coaches is to watch matches involving our players; we have seen some of the players in video and live,” the coach stated.
“What we looked at is what the players have done for the country in 2009 and 2010, we also see what they did in their various clubs in these years.
“When you pick a player, it is based on individual skills, but you would also look at the fitness level and the number of matches they have played.
“I can say that I am satisfied with the players I picked, and say that the list I release purely belonged to me.”