Football

Michael Obafemi Unlikely To Commit To Ireland This Week

Michael Obafemi Unlikely To Commit To Ireland This Week

Unless he has a sudden change of heart, Michael Obafemi is unlikely to commit his long-term international future to the Republic of Ireland this week. The Southampton teenager is eligible to play for England and Nigeria along with Ireland, although his fast-tracking into the Irish international squad this week hinted at his playing in the competitive UEFA Nations League clash with Denmark, which would have tied him down to Ireland permanently.

While O'Neill said at the announcement of his provisional squad that Obafemi and Jimmy Dunne's surprise inclusion was partly influenced by their being eligible for other nations (Dunne qualifies for Northern Ireland) but he has since maintained the patient stance that has been the hallmark of his approach to Declan Rice.

Dunne was excluded from the final squad for these games, but Obafemi made the cut and has linked up with the squad for training at Abbottstown this week. O'Neill has said that Obafemi has performed well in training, but has yet to make a final decision as to whom he wants to represent at international level.

In terms of decisions for tying down, that is a bit of a distance off. He has things to think about, and I certainly won't put pressure on him. As I said to you a couple of days ago, if he rushed in and said that this is what I want to do that's a different issue, but I want people to want to play for us.

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O'Neill has spoken to Obafemi about the issue but has yet to talk to the player's family, and confirmed that the striker is unlikely to travel to Aarhus for the Nations League game with Denmark.

At this minute, unless we hear anything to the contrary, no.

See Also: Former Irish Underage Player Michael Keane Advises Declan Rice On England Decision

Gavin Cooney
Article written by
Changed the spelling of his name upon pressure from Michael Owen.

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