Barcelona youngster Boluwatife Balogun has not taken up the offer of training with Nigeria’s Under 20 National Team ahead of the World Cup in New Zealand which begins later this month.
After being left out of the Flying Eagles provisional squad list, the technical crew left a small window open for him by unofficially inviting him to attend a screening exercise but The Azulgranas higher-ups did not sanction his trip to Abuja.
”I couldn’t come for the trials because Barcelona won’t allow me,” said the attacking midfielder to SL10.ng.
The 18-year-old is not sulking over his omission from the squad and has singled out Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho, Porto Under 19 striker Chidera Ezeh, Enyimba’s Kingsley Sokari and Taiwo Awoniyi as the players to watch out for at the Fifa Under 20s.
”Kelechi Iheanacho can replicate his performance at the Under 17 World Cup despite his injury problems. He can see off his markers easily, he can also score.
”I am tipping Taiwo Awoniyi to do well, we saw his performance at the past AYC. Kingsley Sokari and Ezeh Chidera will also do well for the team,” Balogun said.
Asked about the chances of the Flying Eagles in New Zealand, he replied: ‘’This is football and anything can happen. Nigeria possesses a good team that can win the competition.”
Balogun, who is also eligible to represent France and Holland, has been on the radar of the Nigeria Football Federation for the past two years but has not been capped.