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Dessers debunks Belgium interest, reiterates Nigeria commitment

Genk striker Cyriel Dessers has denied claims of his interest to represent Belgium and reiterated his commitment to the Nigeria national team.

The forward was born to a Belgian father and Nigerian mother and pledged his allegiance to the West Africans in December 2019.

The striker was subsequently handed his first call-up by Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr for their Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sierra Leone in March.

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The outbreak of coronavirus has, however, delayed his debut for the three-time African champions, as the game was postponed indefinitely.

A report recently quoted the striker stating he is still open to representing Belgium but the highly-rated forward has now refuted the claims.

“They made a story from nothing. I didn’t even talk with Belgium and then they make a story,” Dessers told AOI.

“I said I hoped for a call [from Nigeria] in September, but that’s not even sure. That’s the coach who decides, it’s not in my hands. It’s just the click-bait sites who take things out of context and make juicy titles.”

Dessers delivered eye-catching performances during his one-year stay with Heracles Almelo, scoring 18 goals across all competitions to emerge as the club’s top scorer.

The forward’s 15 goals in the 2019–20 Dutch Eredivisie season ensured he also won the league's joint-top scorer award along with Steven Berghuis.

Dessers joined Belgian First Division A side Genk in June and has been impressive for the club, scoring three goals during their pre-season games so far. 

The 25-year-old started his career with OH Leuven’s youth team and was promoted to the senior side in 2013.

The forward made only one league appearance for Leuven before teaming up with Lokeren in April 2014 and featured in 32 league games for the Belgian club.

The striker also played for NAC Breda and Utrecht before moving to Heracles Almelo in the summer of 2019.

Dessers will be expected to form a deadly attack along with new Napoli signing Victor Osimhen and Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze for the Super Eagles.