Stephen Kenny announced his 25-man squad to play Belgium and Lithuania today. One man not included is 19-year-old Festy Ebosele of Derby County. Ebosele will link up with the U21, and it seems he is on the verge of a huge move to Italy.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of Derby's match against Coventry tomorrow, manager Wayne Rooney confirmed that Ebosele will signing with an Italian club in the next few days.
— 𝗦𝗚 (@szymon_gasior_) March 18, 2022
Italian football writer Gianluca Di Marzio - who works for Sky Italia and is followed by more than 1 million people on Twitter - wrote on his blog that Ebosele will sign for Udinese today.
Ebosele has been linked with a move to the northeast of Italy for months, and reportedly conducted a medical with the club earlier in the year.
Ebosele grew up near Enniscorthy in Co. Wexford and has been a footballing phenom from a young age.
Last month, Rooney spoke about his incredible development with the club this season.
"He’s still got a lot more to learn and lots of improvements to make but I’ve seen the development since the start of the season. Not just technically. He’s raw, he’s quick, he can beat a player but his fitness levels have improved massively.”
Speaking to media last week, Stephen Kenny revealed that Ebosele was not close to his radar at the start of the season but has forced his way into the reckoning for the senior side.
But how good he has been for Derby, he is absolutely lightning. He is quicker that Chiedozie [Ogbene], he is rapid and frightens defenders.
I couldn't have thought in November that he would be in contention in March, it can change dramatically like that. Other more experienced players have gotten more playing time and they have excelled.
Ebosele will be joined at Udinese by James Abankwah of St Patrick's Athletic, who'll move to the club this summer.
Along with Kevin Zeffi at Inter and Cathal Heffernan at AC Milan, the Irish football contingent in Italy continues to grow.