Watford midfielder Tom Dele-Bashiru has his sights set on an appearance at the Olympics ahead of an important African Cup of Nations Under 23 clash with Nigeria this evening.

The 20-year-old is in Egypt for the tournament and will be part of the Super Eagles squad taking on Zambia in the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo, hoping to get an important win after they lost their opening fixture to the Ivory Coast.

The former Manchester City man told the club website he was excited about the prospect of representing his nation in Tokyo next year, a reward handed down to the top three teams in the tournament.

“It's a big tournament as if we qualify, we get to go to the Olympics,” he said.

“I'm really excited as it's a massive competition. There is high expectation to do well and qualify. It will be really disappointing if we don't qualify. We won it four years ago so we've got a lot to live up to. We'll try our best and hopefully that will be enough.”

Dele-Bashiru thinks Nigeria have more than enough talent to qualify for the games, having played with several of the same players at Under 20 level.

Should he be used, it will be his first time playing with the Under 23s and he is looking forward to joining up with other players from the Premier League and Europe, with the likes of Wolves striker Bright Enobakhare and Istanbul midfielder Azubuike Okechukwu also involved in the team.

“The Under-20s is a good team and most of the lads are from that team,” said Dele-Bashiru.

“I haven't been with the 23s before, but it looks like a team of very good individual players who work hard together. We've got a few guys from Europe so it's exciting.”

Representing Nigeria is a great source of pride of Dele-Bashiru, who has dreams of emulating his heroes Jay-Jay Okocha and Nwankwo Kanu.

He hopes he can make the rest of the nation as proud with his performances.

“I'm very proud of my Nigerian roots,” he said.

“It's a great honour to play for my country and show everyone that Nigeria is a great breeding place for talent. It's a massive country and we have massive support. Everyone there is a football fanatic so the country will be behind us during this tournament. We have got to make them proud.

“Jay-Jay Okocha is my hero. I just loved his playing style and watched videos of him all the time when I was growing up. He's a big hero of mine, as is Kanu.”