From era to era, season to season and player to player, many Nigerian nationals have done the country proud on the European football scene by their exemplary feats on the field of play, across big professional leagues.
To put a timeframe, it will not be less than past three decades to date that Nigerian flag is being proudly raised across Europe by her football stars. Today, one may likely win if you place a bet that there is at least one Nigerian national, regular in the first-eleven line-up of not less than two leading clubs in the top ten European leagues.
Besides, several young Nigerians abound in football academies and the lower division teams, waiting to emerge on the big stage. Meanwhile, countable among them are citizens of one European country or the other by virtue of birth, with their Nigerian-identity more established by their names than their papers. Of particular interest however is the crop of Nigerian talents born in the home-country of football, England.
In the above category is Timi Adekunle, a promising, proudly Nigerian UK citizen set to emerge in the world’s face in no distant time. Born in 2007 in Newham, London; the 5 feet 11 centre back player is a defender, playmaker and team-player rolled into one in the real sense of the word; team – ‘together, everyone achieves more’.
Currently the captain of Tottenham Hotspur Under-16 team coached by the former Barcelona and Manchester City player, Yaya Toure; Timi is blessed with adequate potentials, commitment, sense of purpose and quality of character to ultimately rank among the greatest footballers in history.
A defender who also excels as a scorer, owing to his capability as a utility player in the mould of Marcelo da Silva of Brazil, he had three goals to his name in his days in the Under-15 team, while he has recorded four goals and counting in the Under-16.
Timi may emerge on the big stage sooner than later, all things being equal, as he is most likely to go on 2023 summer tour with the senior team. Without mincing words, Timi Adekunle is one bankable Nigerian talent that Nigerian Football Federation must not let escape their radar, in the country’s quest to build formidable age-grade teams.