Watford midfielder Tom Dele-Bashiru is contention to feature for the Nigeria U23 team as they take on Zambia on Tuesday evening as he looks to represent his native in the Olympics.
Dele-Bashiru was an unused substitute when Ivory Coast beat Nigeria 1-0 in the group opener at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo, Egypt.
“It's a big tournament as if we qualify, we get to go to the Olympics,” Dele-Bashiru said. “I'm really excited as it's a massive competition.
"There is a high expectation to do well and qualify. It will be really disappointing if we don't qualify. We won it four years ago so we've got a lot to live up to. We'll try our best and hopefully that will be enough,” the 20-year-old told the club's official website.
Dele-Bashiru joins fellow Nigerians in the squad; former Arsenal midfielder Kelech Nwakali and Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Bright Enobakhare.
“The Under-20s is a good team and most of the lads are from that team,” said Dele-Bashiru.
“I haven't been with the 23s before, but it looks like a team of very good individual players who work hard together. We've got a few guys from Europe so it's exciting.”
The 20-year-old has featured for England at U16 but made the decision to pledged his allegiance to Nigeria where he eligible to play through his father.
“I'm very proud of my Nigerian roots,” he said. “It's a great honour to play for my country and show everyone that Nigeria is a great breeding place for talent.
"It's a massive country and we have massive support. Everyone there is a football fanatic so the country will be behind us during this tournament. We have got to make them proud.”
“Jay-Jay Okocha is my hero,” he said. “I just loved his playing style and watched videos of him all the time when I was growing up. He's a big hero of mine, as is Kanu.”
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