Anichebe set to chose Nigeria over England

November 13, 2007

Stuart Pearce's hopes of persuading Victor Anichebe to represent England appear to have been dashed, after the Everton striker was added to the Nigeria squad for their clash with Australia this weekend.

The 19-year-old was born in Lagos - and despite moving to England at the age of one, he has made it clear he would prefer to represent the country of his birth at international level.

England Under-21s boss Pearce has been a long-time admirer of Anichebe, and his displays for the Toffees in the UEFA Cup this season have further enhanced his already burgeoning reputation.

Should Anichebe feature in Saturday's meeting with the Socceroos at Fulham's Craven Cottage then he would be tied to the Super Eagles for the rest of his career.

Confusion has surrounded Anichebe's international future for some time.

Following his call-up to the England Under-19s squad in August last year, it looked as if he would pledge his allegiance to his adopted country.

But he pulled out at the last minute and went on to reinforce his determination for represent Nigeria.

He was called up to the senior squad by boss Berti Vogts in March this year but failed to feature in any games, meaning there was still a faint hope Pearce could persuade him to play for England.

But that hope looks to have been extinguished following Anichebe's call-up alongside fellow Everton striker, Yakubu - who had originally been left out of the squad after allegedly falling out with Vogts.