By Lorenz Kohler
Arsenal winger Reiss Nelson will be welcomed to the Zimbabwe national team, according to defender Tendayi Darikwa.
Darikwa, 28, was born in England to a father from the Southern African nation and after switching his international allegiance in 2017, the tireless right-back has become an integral part of the Warriors squad.
The Nottingham Forest full-back started both their Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers for the double-header against African champions Algeria this past week and has now admitted Nelson would be a major addition.
The Gunners academy graduate is highly regarded by head coach Mikel Arteta and with over 50 senior games at club level along with 21 goals in 37 caps for England at youth level – he represents one of the leading talents in the country.
However, he remains eligible to switch to Zimbabwe, owing to his fathers’ heritage and having not represented England at senior level yet.
“I think it’s a personal decision that someone has to make to switch allegiances or go and represent a certain country,” Darikwa told On The Whistle.
“We all know how capable Reiss is and talented he is as a footballer and he can only improve our team and our country. We welcome Reiss to come and play for the Warriors. We’d love him to come but he needs to make the decision himself without getting pressure from people outside.
“He’s played for England at youth level, if he wants to carry on playing for England, that’s fine but if he wants to play for Zimbabwe, we’ll welcome him together.”
Zdravko Logarusic’s side are currently in second place in Group H for their 2021 AFCON Qualifiers with Les Verts at the summit, while Botswana and Zambia trail in third and fourth place respectively. KickOff