England, Nigeria and Canada are in a three-way tussle for Chelsea’s defender Fikayo Tomori.
Tomori, who was born in Canada to Nigerian parents, but the family moved to Gravesend when he was a baby, had played for Canada’s Under 20 team and for England’s Under 20 and Under 21 teams.
It is this rich run of form that has raised concerns that Nigeria will try to convince Tomori to switch national allegiances just as they have attempted to do with his team-mate Tammy Abraham.
Tomori can play for any of England, Nigeria or Canada. He is already an England Under-21 international but is also eligible to play for Nigeria through his parental lineage. Having been born in Calgary, Alberta, the young centre back has also represented Canada at youth level.
Speaking on the situation, Tomori said: ‘I’m a citizen of all three [countries] so we’ll see. I was born in Canada and lived there about seven or eight months old. My family is Nigerian, obviously I live in England. It’s nice to have that. I can’t play Under-21 football anymore so the last international break I didn’t get called up to anyone. Next one maybe we’ll see.’
His manager Frank Lampard has tipped him to be good enough to make the cut for England but insists he won’t try to influence his decision.
Lampard said: ‘It’s his choice. I wouldn’t tell him where to play internationally. But he’s played for [England] Under-21s and if he continues with his form and keeps improving then of course I would expect there to be potential for England if Gareth chooses to select him.
‘He shouldn’t worry about it at the minute. He should just worry about how he’s playing every game or how he trains every day and That will be a nice problem for him, hopefully, if he’s eligible for three. He can chose which one he wants.’
Of course he is a young player, like all young players there are moments where he can improve and that’s something he constantly needs to work on. I trust in him; hence, I wanted him as part of the squad.
“My idea when I came here was to keep Fik part of the squad anyway because I trust him to come and play here. Where better a place to play than the club he has come through at?”