Shola Ameobi set for talks over his Nigeria debut

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ALAN Pardew will hold talks with Shola Ameobi before deciding whether to release him for his Nigeria debut.

The Newcastle United striker has been called up for the Super Eagles’s fixture against Guatemala next month.

But as the February 9 game is a friendly, the club is under no obligation to release the former England Under-21 international.

And of concern is the fact that it will involve a gruelling transatlantic journey for Ameobi sandwiched between the Premier League fixtures against Arsenal and Blackburn Rovers, with the match being played in the United States.

Pardew has praised Ameobi for his contribution to the cause in the absence of leading scorer Andy Carroll, and he’ll have a discussion with the 29-year-old before making any decision on his release for the game.

Pardew said: “I haven’t talked to Shola about it, but we’ll discuss it.”

Ameobi, for his part, is keen to play for Nigeria, a decade after first being approached by his country of birth.

Ameobi – who was born in Zaria, northern Nigeria, but moved to Tyneside with his family aged five – met coach Samson Siasia this month.

“A lot of things have been said in the past, but I’ve always stated my focus has been on Newcastle, and playing for them week in, week out,” said Ameobi. “But if I keep on playing well, whatever happens, happens.”

Despite spells out through injury, Ameobi has scored seven goals so far this season.

H QPR have signed Newcastle winger Wayne Routledge on loan until the end of the season.

Routledge, 26, has returned to the club he left in January last year. He has made 36 appearances to date for Newcastle, but has played a peripheral role in recent weeks.

“I think Wayne just needs an arm around him,” said QPR boss Neil Warnock. “He is a super lad and a super player.”

Rangers have also signed Pascal Chimbonda, who was released by Blackburn this week.