There has been a lot of speculation about Dortmund forward Karim Adeyemi's eligibility for the Super Eagles in recent weeks. This is especially considering he has represented Germany's national team a couple of times. In this article, we'll talk about the 21 year old, how he's still available for Nigeria, and what he could potentially bring to the Super Eagles.
Who is Karim Adeyemi?
In January 2002, Karim Adeyemi was born in Munich to a Nigerian father and Romanian mother. He kicked off his career with TSV Forstenried's youth team, before moving to Bayern Munich, Unterhaching and Red Bull Salzburg.
Adeyemi made his professional debut for Salzburg's feeder team, FC Liefering on 1st September 2018, in a 1-0 loss to Austria Lustenau. He scored his first professional goal three weeks later, in a 3-0 victory over LASK Linz II. In his first season with Liefering, Adeyemi had 20 appearances in Austria's 2. Liga, with six goals and two assists.
It's worth mentioning that Karim Adeyemi's numbers improved in his next season with Liefering. He was directly involved in 18 goals in 18 matches across all competitions, scoring 11 times with seven assists. This earned him a promotion to Salzburg's main team, where he scored on his debut, in a 6-3 victory over Zenit St Petersburg.
After four years with Salzburg (where he won the Austrian Bundesliga's top-scorer award and earned a spot in the team of the season), Karim Adeyemi moved to Borussia Dortmund for a reported fee of €38m in May 2022. His deal was confirmed on the same day the club announced the sale of Erling Haaland. In his first season with Dortmund, Adeyemi was named Bundesliga rookie of the 2022/23 campaign, as well as rookie of the month in January 2023.
That said, let's talk about Adeyemi's international career, and why he's still available for the Super Eagles.
Why is Karim Adeyemi still available for Nigeria?
It's fair to point out that Karim Adeyemi has represented Germany at various youth levels. He joined their U-16 team in 2018, and was part of Germany's U-17 European Championship squad the following year.
Adeyemi also won the U-21 European Championships in 2021; he earned a place in Germany's national team due to his stellar performances. As it stands, the 21 year old has four caps for Die Mannschaft. He came on as a substitute in his international debut, scoring the last goal in a 6-0 thrashing of Armenia.
However, there's one little detail that could allow Adeyemi's change of international allegiance. As per FIFA's eligibility criteria, players can switch countries if they've played “no more than three competitive matches at the senior level before turning 21”. Given that three of Karim Adeyemi's four caps came in FIFA World Cup qualifying games, he is eligible to play for another country.
It may interest you to know that the former Salzburg player was a part of Germany's 2022 FIFA World Cup squad. However, he sat on the bench throughout their disappointing campaign, where they crashed out in the group stage.
Would Adeyemi be valuable to the Super Eagles?
We would like to note that Karim Adeyemi recently stated that he would make the switch to the Super Eagles if given the chance. He also allegedly declined a call-up to Germany's U-21 team.
The 21 year old would be a valuable addition to Jose Peseiro's squad. He can perform in big games, having scored against Chelsea, PSG and AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League. As it stands, Adeyemi's Transfermarkt value is at €28m, which would make him one of the most valuable players should he play for the Super Eagles.