Fulham centre back Tosin Adarabioyo wants to play for England at this summer’s European Championships. This ambition has ended speculations the tall and vastly improved Nigerian could switch allegiance to his fatherland.
Adarabioyo has now become the third full blooded Nigerian in the past year to pledge their allegiance to their country of birth instead of their country of origin.
First was Tammy Abraham who has gone ahead to play at the senior level for England. The Chelsea forward is followed by Arsenal’s exciting 19 year old all-rounder, Bukayo Saka who has also played for the Three Lions and looks set to make Greth Southgate’s squad to the Championships.
Now Adarabioyo has revealed his preferences and hopes his great display for relegation haunted Fulham in the Premier League will help him fulfil his ambition.
The Nigerian says in an exclusive interview in the Telegraph he has two clear aims for the season: keeping Fulham in the Premier League and forcing his way into the England squad for this summer’s European Championships.
Not so long ago either would have appeared fanciful. Now Fulham are just three points behind 17th place Newcastle United and such has been Tosin’s contribution at the heart of their defence that international recognition is entirely possible for a player who last represented England at Under-19 level.
“We know it’s the Euros this summer so hopefully if I keep on doing well, who knows, I could be looking to push myself into that squad,” Tosin says. “Obviously there are a lot of good players to choose from but if I do what I can do best there is a chance.”
There is certainly now a chance for Fulham – who face Crystal Palace away on Sunday – after it appeared they were one of three relegation certainties having lost seven of their first nine league games. Tosin arrived in the middle of that poor run and since then has formed an impressive partnership with on-loan Joachim Andersen.
Remarkably, over the past 14 games, only Manchester City have a better defensive record in the Premier League. Fulham have only conceded 11 goals and lost one of their last seven and there is a sense of gathering momentum.
“It’s an amazing achievement. The start of the season was not great so it is catch-up, a lot of catch-up.
But now we have reached a point where we know what we are about and what we can do,” Tosin explains. “We are getting some good results and some more respect in the league. Teams are starting to be wary of us and know what we are capable of.
I definitely don’t think we are a team that deserves to go down. We are a top team and we will keep fighting. There are a lot of games still to play.”