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'He's A Nightmare For A Defender' Festy Ebosele Praised After Derby Win

'He's A Nightmare For A Defender' Festy Ebosele Praised After Derby Win
By Jonathan Byrne Updated

Republic of Ireland Under 21 international Festy Ebosele enjoyed a breakthrough night in Derby County's 3-1 win over Hull City.

The 19-year-old will have been on the radar of those that follow the Championship or Irish performances closely, but a goal and an assist on Tuesday night speak volumes.

Derby have a mountain to climb if they are to keep their chances of survival alive. Despite financial troubles and a hefty points deduction, they've stayed afloat at the bottom of the table.

Eight points from eighteen in January will have to be improved upon, however. If they can replicate performances like their win over Hull, it's a good sign for the rest of the season.

Manager Wayne Rooney has been put in a tough position personnel-wise with seven players departing Pride Park in the January transfer window gone by.

He'll be banking on big performances from some of their youngsters in the coming games. Festy Ebosele seems to be hitting the ground running when they need it the most.

'The Nightmare' Festy Ebosele

The Wexford man has been on the books of Derby since 2018. This season he's enjoyed plenty of first-team action, not only down to his performances but also his versatility.

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The pacey winger can play on both sides of the pitch. He's been utilised primarily as a right-back or right-winger, but he's featured as a left-back and left-winger too.

Club veteran Craig Forsyth spoke about Ebosele post-game. "He's been getting better and better and that's the thing. It's good to see him improving with that final ball."

"Still he can get better, there was a lot of opportunities tonight. He's a threat and he's horrible to play against. He's so strong and he's so quick and he can go both ways. He's a nightmare for a defender."

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Ebosele was given man-of-the-match honours post-game and spoke about the win. "Yeah I feel like I played well today. I'm happy that the team was able to get the win," he said.

"We've got a great squad. You can't really control the stuff that happens outside the pitch. All we can do is play every week to the best of our abilities and that's what we'll do until the end of the season."

Speaking on Derby's chances of survival, Ebosele appeared confident. "It's more than a belief. I feel like we all know that we can stay up. If we keep putting in performances like that then we'll do it."

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvauFPJ3Rdg

Attracting Interest

Since October - Ebosele has managed eleven starts in the Championship. Two goals and two assists will not only help keep his place at Derby safe but attract interest from abroad too.

Ebosele's contract is up at the end of the season and only last week, there were reports he was in Italy to undergo a medical with Serie A outfit Udinese.

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It seems like he's staying at Pride Park for now. Nonetheless, Derby will have to fight for his services in the summer if he continues to impress this season.

Another question is whether a Republic of Ireland call-up will be on the cards. Friendlies against Belgium and Lithuania in March could be the perfect opportunity to blood new players.

Right-back is probably Ireland's strongest position with the likes of Matt Doherty and Seamus Coleman likely to hold a place for the foreseeable future.

But what about cover? The one strength Ebosele brings to the table is his positional versatility in covering both sides of the flank. That's important at all levels.

With the likes of Liam Scales and Ryan Manning hoping to push through at left-back, there could be an opportunity to provide right-back cover.

We know what Doherty and Coleman can bring to the table. It's unlikely Kenny will leave them two out in March. But Irish fans watching Ebosele's performance on Tuesday night will be calling for him to feature.

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