Fulham boss tips Nigerian eligible ace for England chance

Fulham manager Scott Parker believes former Manchester City player Tosin Adarabioyo can aim for the England squad as he prepares to face his former club.

The Nigerian eligible Adarabioyo joined the Citizens aged five, but found senior appearances limited under Pep Guardiola during his time there, and spent two seasons on loan in the Championship with West Brom and Blackburn.

Parker then signed Adarabioyo in the summer transfer window, and has previously admitted he had an eye on the 23-year-old defender from his time with the Tottenham under-23s.

“That (England national team) can be a goal for Tosin,” Parker said when asked about his future.

“I still think there are elements where he can improve for sure. I see that every day.”

City are arguably closing in on the title and their 21-game winning streak was only brought to an end by derby rivals Manchester United at the weekend, while Fulham currently sit in the relegation zone, but level on points with Brighton in 17th place and just one behind Newcastle.

Adarabioyo has been a crucial part of Fulham’s defensive improvements this season, after they conceded 10 goals in their opening three matches, before the 23-year-old’s arrival in October.

Alongside stand-in captain and loanee Joachim Andersen, Adarabioyo has become a mainstay of the Fulham defence, which has shipped just two goals in their last eight matches and Parker believes he can see the City influence in the 23-year-old.

“I’ve seen that (City influence). I saw him at Blackburn last year, I saw him play for the under-23s at City, his biggest attribute was certainly with the ball.

“Where I think he has improved drastically is without it. Defensively doing his work.

“That’s not to say defensively he wasn’t top, but certainly, I think I knew when we were bringing him in that he is a player that has been brought up and schooled as a ball-playing centre-half.

“When we brought him in, first of all, he needed to realise that he is going to be defending a lot at times in our team, compared to a City or a top side. For defenders, sometimes that’s a big transition. That’s sometimes hard.

“You need to have that instinct for defending really. I think over the course of this season, he is defending the box much better, with headers. I think he has improved drastically in that element. What you see on the ball is a player that is a top, top player.”

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