Sammy Ameobi: Newcastle United striker opts to play for Nigeria

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport
Samuel Ameobi
Sammy Ameobi made five appearances for England Under-21s

Newcastle forward Sammy Ameobi has opted to play for Nigeria.

The 22-year-old has represented England at under-21 level but will follow his older brother Shola's lead and play for the country of their parents.

"It wasn't a difficult decision because I decided to follow my heart and I think it's the right thing to do," Ameobi told BBC Sport.

"I saw Shola at the World Cup and for him to play at a major tournament like that is a big motivation."

Ameobi's path to the Super Eagles
Sammy Ameobi has played twice for Nigeria Under-20s and five times for England Under-21s

Kalu and Ikechukwu Uche were the last brothers to play for the west African country, and the younger Ameobi hopes he and his sibling - who was released by Newcastle this summer - can play in the same national side.

"It would be nice, but I need to work extremely hard at club level to get the attention of the Nigerian coaches," he said.

"The country has a lot of talent. I just want to do well and hopefully get a chance with the Super Eagles."

Sammy Ameobi made his debut for Newcastle in May 2011, but was loaned to Middlesbrough for the second half of the 2012-13 season.

He was back at St James' Park last term but made only 12 appearances and acknowledges he is about to begin an "important" campaign.

"Performing well on a regular basis with your club is the only way to prove yourself," he said.

"When you give everything and do well then you'll fancy your chance to get a call up to the Nigeria squad."