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Darikwa wants Nelson

Darikwa wants Nelson

NOTTINGHAM Forest and Warriors defender Tendayi Darikwa says Arsenal forward Reiss Nelson is welcome if he decides to switch his allegiance to Zimbabwe.

Nelson is eligible to play for Zimbabwe owing to his fathers’ history and also having not represented England at senior level yet.

The Zimbabwe Football Association has been over the years trying to lure the player to represent the country.

And Darikwa, who committed his international allegiance to Zimbabwe in 2017, said Nelson would be welcome if he decides to represent the country of his father.

Darikwa, just like Nelson was born in the United Kingdom, however, to both Zimbabweans parents.

“I think it’s a personal decision that someone has to make to switch allegiances or go and represent a certain country.

“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,” Darikwa told On The Whistle as quoted by KickOff.

The full-back started in Zimbabwe’s back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against African champions Algeria this past week.

Zimbabwe managed to collect a point in the two fixtures to keep their hopes of qualifying for the Cameroon finals alive.

Darikwa admitted Nelson would be a major addition.

“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,” added Darikwa.

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.