Would Nigeria be a better option for Okon?

Would Nigeria be a better option for Okon?
Ime Okon of Supersport United

by Staff Reporter

Sunday Apr 07, 2024. 15:24

Ime Okon could soon have a very important decision to make on his international future as Nigeria are believed to be sniffing around the SuperSport United defender again.

The 20-year-old has been the topic of hot discussion this season following his emergence on the local scene with Matsatsantsa, for whom he’s already made 20 appearances in the DStv Premiership.

Okon has yet to make his debut for South Africa, but former Bafana Bafana internationals Andre Arendse and Thulani Hlatshwayo recently urged Hugo Broos to give the younger a chance before it is too late.

The centre-back holds a dual citizenship as his father is Nigerian and he admitted in October last year that either country he chose to represent would be a “tough decision”.

However, the Super Eagles appear to be ready to make a renewed attempt to persuade him to play for them as they look to freshen things up in defence after suffering a 2-0 defeat to Mali in a FIFA Series friendly last month.

Okon must decide whether Nigeria would be a better option for him. He would certainly be exposed to better attacking players as the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations finalists have an impressive array of talent up front.

They are spearheaded by 2023 African Footballer of the Year Victor Osimhen, who won the Serie A title with Napoli last season, while other notable names include Ahmed Musa, Kelechi Iheanacho, Taiwo Awoniyi, Ademola Lookman and Moses Simon.

The biggest names on South Africa’s roster are Percy Tau and Lyle Foster. No disrespect to the duo but they don’t inspire the same fear in defenders like the Nigerians mentioned and Okon would likely benefit more from playing for the West African giants.

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