Saturday 21 September 2019

'This is the country he wants to play for' - Top prospect Michael Obafemi is '100pc committed to Ireland'

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and Michael Obafemi during a Republic of Ireland training session at the FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and Michael Obafemi during a Republic of Ireland training session at the FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

18-year-old striker Michael Obafemi is '100 per cent committed' to playing for Ireland, according to a statement released by his representatives.

The Southampton prospect was called up to the Ireland squad for tonight's friendly against Northern Ireland and Monday's UEFA Nations League clash with Denmark, but Ireland manager Martin O'Neill said yesterday that Obafemi wanted more time to consider his international future, with the teenager also able to play for England or Nigeria.

However, Playerworks CSM, a football agency that represents Obafemi, released a statement on his behalf this afternoon saying that the top prospect wants to play for Ireland.

"Due to current speculation surrounding Michael Obafemi and as Michael's representatives, we would like to go on record to say that we are not in talks with either Nigeria or England, nor is it something we have ever pursued," the statement says.

"Since Mark O'Toole spotted Michael early on, he, along with the other staff at Ireland, have given Michael a great opportunity, which he has enjoyed immensely.

"Michael was born in Ireland, so this is the country he naturally wants to play for.

"Martin O'Neill has shown great faith in Michael and he wants to repay that faith by helping the team achieve success.

"Michael is 100 per cent committed to Ireland and is looking forward to an exciting future with the national team."

Obafemi later shared a picture of himself on social media wearning an Ireland jersey with the caption, 'All in'.

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