Tom Dele-Bashiru was a Man City Youth team mate of England’s Phil Foden when the latter returned two years ago as captain of the England U17s that won the FIFA U17 World Cup. Now the midfielder would like to emulate Foden and help the Flying Eagles win the tournament here in Poland.
“I remember how we were all buzzing when Phil returned as winners of the tournament, now I am also buzzing to be playing in the U20 tournament here in Poland. Hopefully I am able to match him and return as a winner”.
Highly rated Dele-Bashiru had a good opening game Vs Qatar where he scored Nigeria’s third goal in the rout of Qatar. “It was a good outing and we were all happy with the win, scoring a goal was also very good for me personally. We know there is still a lot of work to be done in subsequent matches but we are all working hard and pushing towards the same goal.”
Dele-Bashiru was not in the Flying Eagles team that played in the AFCON qualifiers so how has he been able to integrate with the squad. “The lads have been fantastic with me. I could not have asked for more in the way I was welcomed so it’s been very good”.
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Did you do an initiation dance or something? Cue raucous laughter “nahh, we did nothing like that at all – at least I was not asked to”.
USA will be different from Qatar, you know this right? “Certainly” Dele-Bashiru says with a seriousness that shows the mind of the players. “We know how they will play and part of what we know we need to do is make sure we do not get overrun in midfield. If we do that and work hard for each other we will be alright”.
Away from the Flying Eagles, the 19 year old is in a situation at club level where he does not want to sign a new deal at Premier League Champions Man City. We first reported this here
“I am focused on this tournament but at the same time I am hoping to put myself in the shop window so that I might be able to get a good move. I am at age where I need to be playing first team football regularly and I am ready to go outside England to do this now. First, let us see how far we can go with Nigeria here in Poland, we will sort out club issues after” he ends with a smile.
Image: FIFA via Getty Images