Liverpool's Jordon Ibe confirms allegiance to England

Jordon Ibe
Jordon Ibe made his debut for Liverpool in May 2013

Liverpool's Jordon Ibe has confirmed he wants to play international football for England rather than Nigeria.

The winger, 19, is qualified to play for both countries and played twice for England Under-21s in September.

"It was my choice and it feels the right choice," Ibe told Liverpool's website, after Nigeria coach Sunday Oliseh revealed the decision.

"I was born here and have played in the younger age groups. I want to take it up to the first team one day."

Oliseh had been keen to recruit Ibe for the Super Eagles but admitted defeat on Sunday when he wrote on Twitter: "Jordon Ibe's family informed me by a telephone call that he was giving priority to an England call-up. We wish them well."

London-born Ibe played for England Under-21s against USA Under-23s and then against Norway, alongside club colleague Joe Gomez.

"It was great and I enjoyed myself," Ibe said. "I felt as though Joe and I did well. It was a great experience and I'm looking forward to the coming games.

"You want to represent your country well. Even at times when you've not got games for Liverpool, doing well with England is vital."

Sunday Oliseh
Nigeria coach Sunday Oliseh's tweet saying that Jordon Ibe has decided he wants to play for England

England coach Roy Hodgson has said Ibe could feature for his side in October's Euro 2016 qualifiers against Estonia and Lithuania.

Ibe joined Liverpool from Wycombe as a 16-year-old in January 2012 and made his Premier League debut against QPR in May 2013.

He had loan spells at Birmingham the following season, and then Derby during the first half of the 2014-15 campaign.

Ibe made 14 appearances for the Reds last term and has featured four times this season, although he has yet to score for the Anfield club.

Hodgson said former England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has told him of Ibe's potential.

"Gerrard said: 'We have got this young lad, he is something special.' He had the same feeling about Raheem Sterling," added Hodgson.

"We must be careful. People take their time. There is competition in his place."

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