Southampton youngster Michael Obafemi has pledged his international future to the Republic of Ireland and ended speculation that the 18-year-old Academy graduate could side with Nigeria or even England.
The young striker was given a call-up to Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland squad for the upcoming November international games, and he did make the final cut for the Northern Ireland friendly and the Nations League clash against Denmark.
Having made the decision now and formalised things, he didn’t get on the pitch against Northern Ireland but his time will surely come.
Playerworks CMS provided Sky Sports and others with the following statement prior to last night’s game.
“Due to current speculation surrounding Michael Obafemi and as Michael’s representatives, we would like to go on record to say that we are not in talks with either Nigeria or England, nor is it something we have ever pursued. Since Mark O’Toole spotted Michael early on, he, along with the other staff at Ireland, have given Michael a great opportunity, which he has enjoyed immensely. Michael was born in Ireland, so this is the country he naturally wants to play for.”
Having appeared for Eire at numerous underage groups, whilst it’s not unheard of for players to make a change when they get to making their senior decision, as it’s the competitive senior cap that ties them into a country, Obafemi hasn’t really to my knowledge overly implied he would make a change but it was a decision that was needed, so now hopefully he can knuckle down, enjoy the experience and focus on his continued development.