Atalanta of Italy’s Nigerian-born defender, Caleb Okoli has received strong tips for a successful future with the Italian senior national team, following his spirited efforts at youth level for the country of his birth.
Although he is still eligible to play for Nigeria at full senior level, having only starred for Italy as a youth international, everything is pointing in the direction of Okoli following the footsteps of Angelo Obinze Ogbonna and Stefano Chuka Okaka in starring for La Azzurri.
Such it is considering that the 18-year-old lad has already starred in glowing colours during his debut for Italy during a European U19 Championship qualifier against Malta on November 13th, then featured in subsequent victories over Cyprus and Slovakia.
The youngster, who was born in Vicenza, also made top marks while featuring for Atalanta’s B-squad in a 3-1 win against Manchester City in the UEFA Youth League last month, as he edges closer to his Serie A debut with the main team of Stephenb Ayodele Makinwa’s former club.
Okoli has also has trained regular with Atalanta’s senior team, after one of which sessions he went on to feature in the match day squad against Juventus, but spent 90 minutes on the bench, but observers say it is just a matter of time before the physically endowed and power-playing centre-back makes his mark in the Italian top-flight.
A report by allnigeriasoccer.com adds: “Okoli is a rugged defender and stands out as a physical player who is positionally aware, sound in aerial duels and very strong in his tackles, qualities which have made him to be likened to Super Eagles and Inter Milan legend Taribo West.”