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Elliott Feels Chiedozie Ogbene Could Draw Premier League Interest This Summer

Elliott Feels Chiedozie Ogbene Could Draw Premier League Interest This Summer
By Gary Connaughton

Chiedozie Ogbene has lit up the international scene since making his international debut. A player that not too many Irish fans would have been following that closely before last summer, he is now an integral part of Stephen Kenny's team.

His performance against Belgium was yet another example of how he can thrive at that level, while also having two goals disallowed against Lithuania for marginal (albeit correct) offside decisions.

Watching him star for Ireland, it is difficult to believe that he is playing in League One. Operating largely at wingback for Rotherham United in recent times, the Cork native has had a good season at club level. However, it seems unlikely he will be playing at that level for too much longer.

Rotherham are very much in the automatic promotion race, while the 24-year old is sure to draw some interested glances from elsewhere considering his recent form.

Speaking on the RTÉ Soccer Podcast, former Ireland international Stephen Elliott said that Chiedozie Ogbene looks fully capable of stepping up to the next level, perhaps even as high as the Premier League.

With the type of player he is, he is more than capable of playing at a higher level.

The way he plays, he's physically strong enough, he's athletic and you can see him now when he's playing he's confident. Even early on in the game (against Lithuania), he's picked up the ball 25 yards out, took the touch and had a shot which took a deflection.

But that's all confidence and having belief in yourself. That comes with scoring three goals in seven international games.

At club level, he definitely needs to be playing in a more offensive role because we can see the damage he causes.

He'll be going back to club level now and he'll be in a really strong position. I think he'll have a lot of clubs looking at him potentially signing, even potentially some Premier League clubs.

That's what I would be thinking now with the impact he's had in international football and his style of game.

I think there are a lot of clubs in the Premier League that will be fully aware of him. I'm not saying he's definitely going to go and move to the Premier League. Obviously Championship clubs would be aware of him playing that well.

But at club level, he definitely needs to be playing in a more offensive role because we can see the damage he causes.

I'm sure he's capable of playing in that right wing-back role because of his athleticism but to get the best out of him, he wants to be in and around the box, scoring goals and creating opportunities which we've seen him do in an Ireland shirt.

His stock is really high at the moment and it's great that he's an Irish player.

Ogbene will be concentrating on securing promotion with his current club for now, although his future does look uncertain after that point. His contract runs out this summer, although Rotherham are likely to trigger the one-year extension option that they hold on that deal.

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Even if that is the case, they could be forced to sell him this summer in order to stop him leaving on a free in 2023.

Rotherham boss Paul Warne yesterday admitted that the club could struggle to hold onto the player if his Ireland form continues at this level.

You can’t clip people’s wings, you can’t hold people back. If Chieo ends up getting an amazing move that his ability deserves, then good on him.

It obviously makes it significantly more difficult to convince him to stay when he’s doing what he is with Ireland...

What a goal that was for Ireland! Chieo’s having a great time, isn’t he? He loves to play with a smile on his face and having 50,000-plus Irish fans cheering him on won’t do him any harm.

It will certainly be interesting to see what the future holds for Chiedozie Ogbene this summer.

SEE ALSO: Roy Keane Lambastes Exuberant Ireland Celebrations Vs Lithuania

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