Sunderland’s Onuoha waits on international future

Nedum Onuoha
Nedum Onuoha
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NEDUM Onuoha today insisted he won’t make any decision on his international future this season.

Nigeria are continuing their pursuit of the on-loan Manchester City defender, who was back in Sunderland’s squad for last weekend’s defeat to Liverpool after recovering from a calf strain.

Onuoha was born in Warri, Nigeria, but has captained England at Under-21 and Youth levels and represented the Three Lions at the 2009 European Under-21 Championships.

The 24-year-old has not featured in the senior set-up though and Super Eagles boss Samson Siasia is keen to secure Onuoha’s services.

While Onuoha has not ruled out playing for Nigeria, he is in no hurry to make a decision on his international future, with his domestic situation set to be settled in the summer when Sunderland attempt to make his loan move permanent.

Onuoha, who made 21 appearances for England U21s, told the Echo: “It was dealt with earlier in the season.

“I won’t be playing for Nigeria this season.

“The chances are I’ll still be on holiday in the summer!”

Siasia have already had some success this season in clinching the allegiance of Barclays Premier League players with Nigerian heritage.

Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi has pledged to appear for Nigeria, although injury has delayed his international debut, while Wigan’s former England U21 forward Victor Moses has also committed himself to the Super Eagles.

Nigeria assistant coach Simon Kalika has made no secret of his pursuit of Onuoha and is confident the right-back will eventually opt for the country of his birth.

“Onuoha is a fantastic defender and very soon he and the chief coach will have a good meeting and we will start from there,” Kalika said.

“But I am sure that he is proud to be a Nigerian and very soon he will signify his intention to join the team.”