Charlton Athletic striker, Nicky Ajose, may become the latest player to be snatched from under the nose of Nigeria.
Media reports in the UK indicate that the player, whose full names are Nicholas Olushola Ajose, has been lined up for a surprise call-up by Eastern Mediterranean island, Cyprus.
Ajose is born to a Nigerian dad and was called up by the country’s under-20 team for the 2009 African Youth Championship.
Prior to that, he had featured for England at Under 16 and Under 17 levels.
However, the 25-year-old is still eligible for Cyprus via his grandfather and is ready to make his full international bow.
Cyprus is due to play Bosnia-Herzegovina in a World Cup qualifier in August and coach Christakis Christoforou has earmarked Ajose to bolster his attacking options.
Ajose made his way through Manchester United’s youth squads, having joined the club in 1999. He was awarded with his first professional contract in the summer of 2009, but never made an appearance for the first team and spent much of the 2010–11 season on loan to Bury.
Ever since, it has been a nomadic career for the forward who has played for 10 different teams, mostly in the lower leagues.
He spent last season on loan at Swindon, scoring 12 goals but wasn’t enough to keep them in the League One.
“I want Nicky Ajose to come back in pre-season and prove to me he wants to get promotion with us,” said Charlton boss, Karl Robinson.
“I want to see him come back and fight for his place.
“I watched four of his games for Swindon on computer – we had scouts who went to watch him play. It wasn’t as successful as his previous season there but it was a different type of team.
“He tried to fight for them in a hard situation. Hopefully, he’ll come back and have a right go – prove to me he should be our number nine forward.”
Ajose is unlikely to be considered for Nigeria owing to the obscurity of the league.