England manager Southgate looking to beat Nigeria’s Eguavoen to Premier League youngster eligible for four countries


The Three Lions boss is constantly in search of top talents to boost his side ahead of a potential title challenge at this year’s World Cup

Crystal Palace kid wonder Michael Akpovie Olise could be on his way to playing for England after reports emerged that the young midfielder is of interest to Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate.

Southgate wants Olise to commit his international future to the 1966 World Cup winners, and according to the Daily Mail, the English FA recently held talks with the Chelsea academy product.

The 20-year-old may have snubbed England, though, with the notorious English media yet to go to press with the news of the youngster’s consent.

Born in England to a Nigerian father and a French-Algerian mother, Olise is eligible to play for any of the four countries.

France already have an edge, though, as Olise represented the European giants at the Under 18 level.

Still, Nigeria have not given up hopes of convincing last season’s Championship Young Player of the Year to switch his allegiance.

Super Eagles head coach Augustine Eguavoen was in England last month to meet some Nigerian stars playing for Leicester City and Watford, including Ademola Lookman, who recently dumped England for Nigeria.

And there were reports in a section of the local media that Eguavoen tried to reach out to Olise and gauge his willingness to feature for the three-time African champions. Hammersmith-born Olise, at a point, was reportedly favourably inclined towards playing for Nigeria.

National team boss Eguavoen has not hidden his search for a creative midfielder for the Eagles, with the jury still out on the consistency of Alex Iwobi and Joe Aribo.

Eguavoen handed a first-time invite to ex-Golden Eaglets playmaker Akinwunmi Amoo last week ahead of Nigeria’s two-legged World Cup qualifying playoff against Ghana on March 25th and 29th.

Olise could provide a long-term solution to that perennial problem, with the youngster excelling for Palace in only his first season in the Premier League. The Eagles’ number seven has scored two goals and added five assists in 21 league appearances. He also has two more goals in three FA Cup outings.