Why Dele Alli was booed by Nigeria fans in England friendly

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Harry Kane Dele Alli England 2017-18
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The Tottenham midfielder was jeered by Nigeria supporters every time he touched the ball in Saturday's friendly at Wembley

Dele Alli found himself the subject of boos from the visiting Nigeria supporters at Wembley in Saturday's World Cup warm-up clash.

The Tottenham midfielder, who started in midfield as Gareth Southgate's England faced the Super Eagles, was on the receiving end of jeers from the Nigeria fans whenever he touched the ball.

Though Alli has been guilty of diving and stimulation in the past, the boos on Saturday were not due to his on-pitch behaviour.

The reason he was being singled out is because he could have represented Nigeria at international level.

Alli's father Kehinde was born in the African country, and thus his son could have played for the Super Eagles, rather than England, if he'd chosen to.

The 22-year-old midfielder has represented the Three Lions since 2012, where he made his first appearance for the England Under-17 side. 

Since then he has played for the national side at all levels and eventually earned his first senior cap against Estonia in October 2016.

Before his first senior call-up, retired Wimbledon striker John Fashanu – who chose to represent England despite being of Nigerian descent – tried to convince Alli, who was playing for MK Dons at the time, to play for Nigeria after his own regret at not doing so.

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"I will be speaking to some people at MK Dons to help patch me through to Alli," Fashanu told SL10.ng   back in 2015 .

"We can't afford to lose such a talented kid to England, it's better we put up a fight than to let him go, I will do my best to persuade him to switch allegiance."

Alli has developed into one of the Premier League's top goalscoring midfielders during his time at Tottenham, and scored 14 goals in all competitions to help Spurs to a third-place finish in the 2017-18 campaign.