October 16, 2021

Lugano loanee Sasere reaffirms Nigeria commitment despite Malta interest

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Even after interest from the European nation, the striker has stated his ultimate desire is to represent the Super Eagles at senior level

Hamrun Spartans star striker Franklin Sasere is determined to represent Nigeria at senior level despite overtures from the Maltese senior national team.

The 23-year-old has enjoyed a fine campaign at Victor Tedesco Stadium that has led to him being linked with Devis Mangia’s Knights of Malta internationally.

A potential Super Eagles call-up has been mooted, though Gernot Rohr’s squad is well stocked in that department thanks to Paul Onuachu and Kelechi Iheanacho.

Even at this, the former Sunshine Stars’ goal machine claims he still aspires to play for the country of his birth.

“My childhood dream is to wear Nigeria’s green and white and that has not changed,” Sasere told Goal.

“I want to use this medium to state that I have not pledged my international allegiance to Malta or any other country. I will keep working hard until I get called up by the Super Eagles national team selectors.

“Right now, I am keen on improving and scoring goals. By improving, coach [Gernot] Rohr will hand me that chance I have been waiting for.

“Nigeria is blessed with talented players especially in the goalscoring department and without sounding boastful, I am one of them.”

Sasere was frozen out of Swiss top-flight side Lugano – and that led to his loan move to Spartans – with the aim of getting regular playing opportunities.

There, he scored 15 goals as Mark Buttigieg’s men won the 2020-21 Maltese elite division diadem for the first time since the 1990-91 campaign.

He was on target the last time out as Hamrun Spartans secured a 2-1 triumph at Floriana. As it stands, they are currently seventh on the log, but the big forward believes a title defence is not out of place.

“The season is just five games old and it will not be fair to us if people start thinking we can’t defend our title,” he continued.

“There are new additions to the squad and once we gel completely, the world will see the real Spartans.”

Buttigieg’s side would be eyeing their third league victory when they host Gzira United on October 16.

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