Nzonzi international call poses Potters problems

Stoke City

Steven Nzonzi could miss the first few months of 2013 for Stoke playing for DR Congo at the African Nations Cup.

The talented winger says he is still undecided as to whether to represent Congo, despite being born in France, at the Africa Cup of Nations in January, or wait to see if he can force his way into the French national side.

Nzonzi, who has done well for the Potters since his £4million summer move from Blackburn, decided against playing for Congo, where his father is from, in a friendly against Burkina Faso this week.

However, he could yet opt to go to the African Nations Cup – a move which would be a blow to Potters boss Tony Pulis as he could effectively miss around two months of domestic action.

“I am still waiting. I didn’t make my choice, so I am keeping an open mind. I don’t know who I want to play for as I come from France but my father is from Congo, so it is my original country maybe,” said Nzonzi, who has played for France at Under-21 level.

It appears he is still holding out for a full France call-up and knows if he continues to impress for Stoke in the Premier League, the dream could yet become a reality.

He added: “Of course it is harder to play for the French national team, but you never know. All I have to do is to make sure I work hard and stay focused for Stoke City and then see what happens later. There is no time limit.”