Ovie Ejaria called up to England U20 squad, despite previous Nigeria allegiance

30 September 2016

Liverpool youngster Ovie Ejaria has been called up to the England Under-20s squad for the October international break.


The 18-year-old has enjoyed a swift rise to prominence under Jurgen Klopp this season, starring throughout pre-season before making his debut for the Reds against Derby County.

That 12-minute cameo marked a milestone in Ejaria’s development, which has been followed by progress on the international stage.

Ejaria has been named in Paul Williams’ 24-man squad for the England U20s’ upcoming clashes with the Netherlands (October 5), Germany (October 7) and the United States (October 10).

The young Lions will test their credentials in a packed tournament schedule, travelling to Oldham, Huddersfield and Rochdale.

Ejaria’s inclusion comes as something of a surprise, given the midfielder’s previous statement of allegiance to Nigeria, shortly after joining Liverpool from Arsenal.

“Though I was born in England, my parents are Nigerians,” the youngster said in 2014, “so I have pledged my international future to Nigeria.”

BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 11, 2016: Liverpool's Ovie Ejaria celebrates scoring the fourth goal against Leicester City during the FA Premier League 2 Under-23 match at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This is far from a definitive move, however, with Ejaria’s future under contention until he turns out for either the England or Nigeria senior sides.

But omitted from a youthful Nigeria squad for their World Cup qualifier against Zambia next month, despite the inclusion of Premier League youngsters Uche Henry Agbo, Alex Iwobi, Isaac Success and Kelechi Iheanacho, this could prove to be a significant move.

Ejaria is poised for a bright future under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, training with the first team throughout 2016/17 so far.

After having made his debut against the Rams in the League Cup third round, he will be hoping his league bow comes before the end of the campaign.

He does, however, face considerable competition, with the likes of Adam Lallana, Georginio Wijnaldum, Emre Can and Marko Grujic all ahead of him in his natural role in midfield.

More from This Is Anfield


Fan Comments