Genk star Ike Ugbo has lifted the lid on his decision to pledge international loyalty to Nigeria and not England.

Born in Lewisham to a Nigerian father, the 22-year-old represented the Three Lions at U17 and U20 levels, played three times and scored once in 2017.

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The tournament in Toulon was won by England by beating Portugal in the final at 30.

However, in 2020 he decided to play for the three-time African champions in the senior category. “I have chosen Nigeria and we are currently sorting out the papers,”

he said. “The opportunity to play in the FIFA World Cup is one of them, I think I have more opportunity to play for Nigeria than with England.”

Also, I grew up with pictures of the [Nigerian] national team and always followed their strikers.

Prior to his final move to the Luminus Arena, Ugbo enjoyed loan stints at Barnsley, Milton Keynes Dons, Scunthorpe United, Roda JC and Cercle following his inability to make the Blues first team.

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The Anglo-Nigerian had hoped they would give him a chance despite being sent to Oakwell. Ugbo wasn’t disappointed with the call, instead claiming that it made him grow as a player.

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