Heracles striker Cyriel Dessers has revealed his desire to play for Nigeria at international level rather than his country of birth Belgium.
The 24-year-old, who was born in Leuven to a Belgian father and qualifies for Nigeria through his mother, is uncapped at youth level.
Top scorer in the Dutch Eredivisie with 11 goals, he was named the league’s November Player of the Month after scoring six goals and producing three assists.
He admits he has a slim chance of playing for Belgium but reveals that his performance has caught the attention of Nigeria selectors and he is open to playing for the three-time African champions.
“There has already been contact with the Nigerian association. After the match against ADO Den Haag, the assistant from Nigeria sent me a message that I was doing well,” Dessers told Belgian outlet Sporza.
“But that is not going to be easy either because there are 300 million Nigerians worldwide.
“I have never been to Nigeria, also because the political situation has not been so calm in recent years.
“The last year is only slightly better. I would like to go there and it would be twice as good to do that even if it’s only to play a friendly game against Madagascar or Mauritius.”
Regarded as a strong centre-forward and standing at a little over 6 feet tall, Dessers started his career at local Belgian side OH Leuven but only made a solitary senior appearance against Mons in March 2014.
He then joined local rivals Lokeren at the start of the 2014/15 season, where he enjoyed regular football and scored seven goals in 40 appearances across two seasons.
Dessers crossed the border to the Netherlands and joined second-tier side NAC Breda in the summer of 2016, helping the team to immediate promotion with 29 goals in 40 matches.
A spell at FC Utrecht led the towering player to Heracles this summer and his 13 goals in 16 appearances have brought praise from the fans and media back in Belgium