Kanu is the key to Pompey's future

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POMPEY hold the key to landing the world's most promising group of footballers.

Kanu has been pinpointed as the man who can deliver Nigeria's burgeoning team of rising stars to Harry Redknapp.

The young Super Eagles are celebrating lifting the under-17 World Cup in South Korea last month.

Nigeria took the competition by storm with their brand of high- tempo, energetic football.

They smashed in 16 goals and sent Colombia, Argentina and Germany spinning out of the tournament after winning a group which contained France.

Spain were defeated in the final – and the world's top clubs are now falling over themselves to land the teenagers.

But Pompey have a headstart on the big guns clamouring for the players.

Kanu has been in contact with many of the side in the wake of their victory.

The Blues striker is seen as a trailblazer for football in Africa, and remains a hugely-respected and influential figure there.

His adviser Samuel Okoronkwo believes that can be a huge benefit to Pompey.

'I have spoken before about what he can do for Portsmouth because of his influence in Africa.

'There is plenty of talent there. We have seen that with Nigeria winning the junior World Cup.

'They have all been on the phone speaking to Kanu since they won the competition. There is every chance some of these players will end up playing in England.

'But at the moment I think it is teams like Manchester United and Liverpool who are interested in them.

'These are outstanding players. It shows you the kind of influence Kanu can have for Portsmouth.'

Nigerian striker Macauley Christanus finished as the junior World Cup's top scorer.

He smashed in seven goals and Spurs are now said to be keeping tabs on the player.

Portuguese outfit Sporting Lisbon are keen on midfield playmaker Ibrahim Rabui, who caught the eye in the competition with his surging runs and range of passing.

King Osanga and skipper Lukman Haruna were others to impress for Yemi Tella's side.

But Kanu's strong links to African football could mean Pompey jump to the head of the queue and further boost their rapidly-improving youth set-up.

Okoronkwo also revealed Kanu is content with life at Fratton Park after signing a new deal in the summer.

Okoronkwo said: 'Kanu is happy with how things are going at Pompey this season and is enjoying his football.

'He always wanted to stay. That was never an issue.'