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Jim Crawford reveals Stephen Kenny role in persuading Ademipo Odubeko to declare for Ireland

Ademipo Odubeko

“Stephen has been in touch with his agent.”

Ireland Under-21 manager admitted that West Ham’s highly-rated youngster Ademipo Odubeko’s Ireland future remains in doubt.

Odubeko has featured for David Moyes’ side this season and had been a part of previous Ireland underage squads.

Odubeko Stephen Kenny

Jim Crawford on Ademipo Odubeko.

Crawford named his squad for the upcoming training camp in Marbella, where they will play three friendlies against Switzerland, the Australian Olympic team and Denmark.

However, Odubeko was once again absent from the squad, having pulled out in March due to “fatigue”, leading to speculation regarding his international allegiance.

The 18-year-old was born in Dublin and has represented Ireland at Under-17 level.

Nevertheless, he is still eligible to play for England or Nigeria, and his two FA Cup appearances this season have showcased his talent to a wider audience.

The Ireland Under-21 boss was asked about Odubeko’s continued absence from the squad, and he admitted that his international future very much remains in doubt.

Odubeko Ireland

Jim Crawford on Stephen Kenny’s involvement.

The former Sporting Fingal player revealed that Stephen Kenny is in touch with his agent to try and convince the teenager to declare for Ireland.

“It’s a little bit stale at the minute, if you ask me. You know, Stephen has been in touch with the agent,” Crawford told the media.

“I’ve been in touch with the agent and at the minute, what I’ve heard, they will be sitting around the table today discussing what are the next steps for Mipo.

“At the end of the day Mipo is a young lad, he’s still eligible to play with the Under-19s.

“Whatever decision is made, I just hope it’s the right decision for Mipo because he’s a good fella and if I was to say anything, you only have to look at another former Irish international that came from Tallaght that made an unbelievable career.

Ademipo Odubeko and Robbie Keane comparison.

“I think Robbie Keane made his debut when he was 17, came, scored goals and that’s something, if I was Mipo, I’d be aspiring to.

“At this point, you’ve got a manager with the senior team who’s willing to play young players. I think it’s something for him to think about.

“I got a text off him at the last camp, that he was honoured to be selected for the camp against Wales so there’s certainly something there, that he wants to play for Ireland.

“But, at the minute, he’s a young boy and obviously might need time to make his decision.”

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