Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny named his squad for the upcoming UEFA Nations League fixtures yesterday, with Michael Obafemi amongst the names included.
The Swansea City man made his first senior international appearance in over four years in the game against Armenia back in June, going on to score his first goal for Ireland in the win over Scotland.
The striker was in remarkable form in the latter half of last season, scoring 12 goals after the turn of the year. That was enough to draw the interest of Burnley, who had three bids for his services rejected at the end of the transfer window.
Obafemi was apparently keen on the move, with Swansea manager Russell Martin excluding him from the squad for their recent fixtures as a result.
Speaking at yesterday's squad announcement press conference, Stephen Kenny hinted that there was more to the story involving his player.
I've spoken to Michael and like everything else there are two or three sides to every story. Certainly Michael wants to play football, he wants to play for Swansea.
Obviously he has been omitted from the last couple of [Swansea] squads after the deadline-day bids and so forth. It’s not ideal, we want our players playing and coming in in good form. It’s just one of those things, I’m sure he’ll be back playing shortly.
We’re delighted to have him in the squad because we have watched him a few times this season and he has played well, he has been at the level he finished off last season.
Those comments have not gone down well in Wales.
Russell Martin responds to Kenny comments on Michael Obafemi
Speaking ahead of their game against Hull City tomorrow, Russell Martin admitted that he was 'disappointed' with the nature of Stephen Kenny's comments.
There’s no personal problem with Michael. We get on brilliantly, he just needs to earn the trust back from his team-mates, from us as a group of staff and the club and supporters, a trust that everyone’s shown in him for a very long time. It really is that simple.
There’s no three sides to the story. I spoke to Stephen before he called him up so I’m a bit disappointed with those comments.
There’s no agenda. I hope he goes away with Ireland and does brilliantly and I hope he does brilliantly with us when he comes back.
Michael Obafemi is likely to play a sizeable role in the games against Scotland and Armenia later this month, with Ireland needing to secure at least one positive result if they are to stave off the threat of relegation in the UEFA Nations League.