Solomon Udo Dumps Nigeria For Armenia

Solomon Udo

FC Shirak’s midfield talisman Solomon Udo has agreed to play for Armenia’s Senior National Team.

The Armenian Football Federation announced the defensive midfielder pledged his allegiance to the Azgayin Havaqakan on Friday.

BusybuddiesNG understands the Armenian FA started courting the 24-year-old in 2018 after noticing his versatility in midfield coupled with his trademark long-range strikes which earned him a comparison with Barcelona’s Xavi Alonso.

Udo who began his football career in Africa’s oldest Local Government Area Ikot Ekpene first set foot in Armenia to sign the dotted lines for Ararat Yerevan as a 19-year-old.

He has gone on to play for Ulisses, FC Urartu, and is currently serving his second stint at FC Shirak.

The Qatar Academy product has registered three goals and provided five assists this season for FC Shirak.

FC Shirak have not lost 71 per cent of games in which Udo has featured since he rejoined the club in 2019. In his first spell, he won the Armenian Independence Cup in the 2016/2017 season and the Armenian Super Cup in 2017.

As a very integral member of the squad, he has featured in 21 of the club’s matches and started on the bench only thrice – one of those times he came off the bench to cement the team’s lead in their 2-0 triumph over FC Noah – as FC Shirak currently sit second in the Armenia Premier League log, six points behind Ararat Armenia.

In 2019, there were calls for the former AS Eupen of Belgium midfielder to join the national team after footage of his long-range strikes surfaced on Twitter. While some regarded him as a perfect replacement for Mikel, others believed he could bring a Xavi Alonso touch to the Super Eagles setup considering his ability to do the dirty jobs, lay off passes accurately, dispossess opposition teams while having an eye for goal.

However, at the same time, rumours emerged that Udo had been approached to consider a future with the Azgayin Havaqakan of Armenia but it took about a year for that rumour to come true.

Udo is now on the path of becoming the first Nigerian to don the Red-Blue-Orange Armenian tricolour for the Asian country and will be captained by former Manchester United star Henry Mkhitaryan who is currently on loan at Roma from Arsenal.  

Armenia’s next game is against North Macedonia in the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League and is scheduled for September 8, 2020, in Skopje.