Newly acquired Middlesbrough striker Uche Ikepeazu has hinted that he has changed his heart to play for Nigeria instead of Uganda for his international career.
By virtue of being born to a Ugandan mother and Nigerian father, Ikepeazu has a right to play for one of Nigeria or Uganda on the national team level.
Uganda convinced the 26-Year-old and has summoned him on several occasions but his debut has been receding every moment it nears.
The lastest summon was last October when then Cranes coach Jonathan Mcknistry named him in the provisional squad to face South Sudan but couldn’t make his long waited debut after the game was postponed.
Since then, uncertainty has surrounded his national allegiance but it seems Nigeria has stolen the show on Uganda.
Speaking to Nigerian web portal Complete Sports, Ikepeazu revealed his admiration to don the Green Eagles strip.
“It’s a tough one because I am Nigerian-Ugandan but I had always pointed out the fact that I wanted to represent Nigeria,” he said.
“I am not going to hide away from that because that is something I said in the past but sometimes in football and life, there are circumstances that things just don’t work out”.
Uganda Cranes was an option.
“But obviously, if I had played for Uganda, I would have represented the country very well and would have been happy that I did that the same way l play my Football.
“And now that I am at Middlesbrough, my mind is telling me to play for the national team of Nigeria, that is the fact and I believe that I can achieve that because I have got all the tools and the ability to go on to do well for the Super Eagles.
Uganda’s faliure to qualify for the Africa Cup Nations which Nigeria did might have influenced Ikepeazu’s decision.
“I would love to be part of next year’s tournament probably playing for Nigeria.”
“The Super Eagles have got great quality to make major impact in the competition with great strikers that they have got.”
He has played for Reading, Watford, Crewe, Doncaster, Port Vale, Blackpool, Cambridge United and Hearts (Scotland).
The gangly striker, standing at 6 ft 3 in, possesses pace and power, scored six goals in 31 games for Wycombe last season.