Mikel wants Billing to play for Eagles 


By Peter Akinbo.

Former Super Eagles captain, Obi Mikel, says the country’s football authorities should make moves to convince Bournemouth midfielder Philip Billing to switch his allegiance from Denmark to Nigeria.

Billing has been in superb form for Premier League strugglers Bournemouth, opening the scoring in the 3-2 defeat to leaders Arsenal and grabbing the winner in the 1-0 defeat of Liverpool last weekend.

He is eligible to represent Nigeria internationally through his father, but opted for Denmark, his country of birth and maternal origin; and has since played twice for the Danish national team.

Ex-Eagles coach Gernot Rohr reportedly approached Biling to represent Nigeria, but the 26-year-old reportedly turned down the approach in 2018.

According to Rohr, it was the player’s agent who had approached him that his client wanted to play for Nigeria.

Former Chelsea star Mikel hailed Billing following his recent performances.

“He was to me the best player on the pitch (against Arsenal) but I understand why Reiss Nelson was voted man of the match,” Mikel said in an interview about Biling, after he scored against Arsenal.

The 2013 AFCON winner referenced Rohr’s efforts to bring Billing to the team, saying this now is the time to try again.

“I am aware of the effort by the last coach of the team and I think the time to revisit that talk is probably now,” Mikel said.

Billing wasn’t included in Denmark’s squads for Euro 2020 and 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but appeared in the Nations League in 2022.