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Vinny Perth likens Irish defender Andrew Omobamidele to ‘young Rio Ferdinand’

Vinny Perth

“He has been outstanding.”

Former Dundalk manager Vinny Perth has hailed Republic of Ireland Under-21 defender Andrew Omobamidele as a “young Rio Ferdinand“.

Perth described the Norwich City centre-back as a “really exciting footballer” and added that the 18-year-old has an “excellent” passing range while also demonstrating calmness on the ball.

Andrew Omobamidele

Andrew Omobamidele.

Omobamidele began his youth career with Leixlip United and spent five years with the Kildare side before deciding to join Norwich in 2019.

The defender made his senior debut for Daniel Farke’s side in January 2021 against Cardiff City in the Championship.

Farke handed Omobamidele his first start for the Canaries against Preston North End earlier in the month and the 18-year-old put in an impressive shift, earning the man of the match award for his performance.

Andrew Omobamidele

He started his second consecutive game against Huddersfield Town last week. Norwich ended up winning the match 7-0 with Omobamidele putting in another commendable performance.

“He’s (Omobamidele) been outstanding in the last couple of games – so composed as a young lad coming into the first team ready to take his opportunity. He deserves a lot of credit for that,” Norwich captain Grant Hanley told the club website.

Most recently, Omobamidele made his third straight start for the Canaries during his side’s Championship clash against Derby County on Saturday.

Andrew Omobamidele

Following his team’s 1-0 victory against Derby, manager Farke described Omobamidele as “fantastic”.

“We have some strong sides to play and we are still a young side,” Farke said after the win.

“If I think about Andrew Omobamidele, who has been fantastic but he is making the right first steps. I think the pressure is away now.”

Perth on Omobamidele.

Perth spoke in an interview with Off The Ball and he shared his thoughts on Omobamidele.

“I watched him play for the Ireland under-21s against Wales – he was ok,” Perth said.

“But I watched him against Preston in a 1-1 draw, and he subsequently stayed in the team. He has been outstanding – a really, really exciting footballer.

Andrew Omobamidele

“They want to play out from the back, he is so comfortable on the ball. I hate giving players tags, but he looks like a young Rio Ferdinand. He has got bits to learn, in that he could develop his upper body strength but he is 18, playing against men.

“He is so calm on the ball, so assured on the ball, his passing range is excellent. I believe he could play in the number 6 role, he could be a Declan Rice-type player. It will be interesting to see.”


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