TSG Hoffenheim of Germany defender, Kevin Akpoguma has been told in clear terms that he would be able to create a bigger and better impact at international level if he plays for the Super Eagles’ of Nigeria, rather than see promotion with the country of his birth, megasportsarena.com reports.
Akpoguma already has a foundation in Germany as former captain of their under-20 squad, but one of his teammates, Diadie Samassekou, a Malian midfielder at Hoffenheim, believes the Nigerian-born lad, who joined ‘The Village Club’ from Karlsruher in 2013, will rise faster with the three-time African champions.
Now that Akpoguma has finally settled into Hoffenheim’s the first team, Samassekou is of a view that his club mate has come of age and should now start thinking of which country he will represent at full senior level.
However, while suggesting that Nigeria is the right choice for Akpoguma, Samassekou conceded that it would be a big challenge for his own country, as he admits Mali would have a tough time against the former Germany youth international should he play against them for the Eagles.
After previously playing on loan at Fortuna Dusseldorf and Hannover, Akpoguma has now made 16 appearances for TSG the Bundesliga, including 12 starts for the team that are still in the race for European qualification, and Samassekou acknowledged that the centre-back could improve the Eagles’ quality in defence should he opt to swatch allegiance and play for Nigeria.
Akpoguma last played for Germany in 2017, after working from under-16 level to the U21s, but Samassekou believes the 25-year-old stopper would be a good asset for Gernot Rohr’s side, for which he has been touted for a switch over the past two years, and his pal is wary of what the towering defender can add to Nigeria’s already formidable squad.
Samassekou told Goal: “For me, it would be better if they didn’t have Akpo; because I’m not Nigerian. I think he would be a great help for [Nigeria]. For the development and improvement of African football, it would be great if he goes there. I don’t know what he’s thinking.”