Sammy Ameobi Opts to Play for Nigeria

Newcastle forward Sammy Ameobi has opted to represent Nigeria at full international level.

The 22-year-old played for England at Under-21 level but has now decided to follow in the footsteps of his older brother Shola, 32, and represent the country of his parents, who hail from Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State, Nigeria.

“I decided to follow my heart and I think it’s the right thing to do,” Ameobi told BBC Sport.

Sammy Ameobi Joined Newcastle's Academy After Finishing  School in 2008.
Sammy Ameobi Joined Newcastle’s Academy After Finishing School in 2008.

“I saw Shola at the World Cup and for him to play at a moajor tournament like that is a big motivation.”

Sammy made two friendly appearance for the Nigeria U-20 side ahead of the 2011 African Youth Championships, but was later called up into the England U-21 squad, where he made five appearances.

He made his first-team debut on Tyneside in May 2011, before spending the second half of the 2012/13 Premier League season at Middlesbrough.

He returned to St. James’ Park last season and featured in ten league matches.

With his present contract at Newcastle set to expire by May 2015, the winger admits the forthcoming campaign is crucial for his transformation as a footballer.

“I am in the last year of my contract with Newcastle and I have to start it with a bang,” he added, in a separate interview with the Punch Newspaper. “I am no longer a kid.

“I have had a lot of injuries which I am hoping I have gotten over now, so I need to play very well to either get a new contract with Newcastle or be able to make a good move elsewhere.”

Pending his debut game for the Super Eagles, Sammy and Shola, who was released by Newcastle this summer, are set to become the second pair of brothers to play for the three-time African champions- same feat they achieved at Newcastle.

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