Ireland and Southampton striker Michael Obafemi has outlined that his immediate international future may lie with Stephen Kenny’s U21s when the 18-year-old returns from injury.
Obafemi is eligible to play for Stephen Kenny’s side as well as Tom Mohan’s exciting U19s who have reached the this summer’s European Championships in Armenia.
The striker, however, has also been capped at senior level, making his debut against Denmark in November at so finds himself in a unique position over which Irish team to play with.
Speaking exclusively to Pundit Arena, Obafemi outlined that he has yet to speak to senior manager Mick McCarthy since he took over the role but explained that he has spoken to Stephen Kenny, hinting that the U21s side could be his immediate focus.
“Mick McCarthy still has to see a bit more from me. I don’t think he can just make a decision because other managers have put me in, that doesn’t mean he has to. There’s still more for him to see of me and I can’t wait for him to see it.
“I’ve not spoken to Mick McCarthy yet but I have spoken to the U21s manager (Stephen Kenny). We had a good chat, I think we’ll be working together very soon.
“I’ve spoken to him once. He came down to a game at Southampton and I caught up with him, we had a quick coffee, I spoke with him, we had a good chat, I think there’s more to come.”
When Obafemi was first called up to the senior squad in November, Martin O’Neill had outlined that he may need time to think about his international future with the 18-year old eligible for both Nigeria and England.
"Martin O'Neill never directly asked me what I wanted to do!" ?We sat down with Ireland & Southampton striker Michael Obafemi to discuss the unnecessary confusion surrounding his commitment to Ireland, Martin O'Neill's reluctance to ask, and of course, the Declan Rice Situation. Part 2 goes live tomorrow.??#COYBIG #WhereEveryonePlays.
Posted by Pundit Arena on Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Despite the confusion, Obafemi explained that for him it was always Ireland.
“Martin O’Neill never directly asked me what I wanted to do. He just said ‘you’re not in a rush,’ he didn’t want to put pressure on me in the situation but I knew what I was going to do.
“I spoke to my agent, we knew what we were going to do. That’s when I made the tweet, ‘All In.’ It got a great response so I was happy with that.
Ireland’s next Euro 2020 qualifiers are in June, while the U19s and the U21s will both take part in respective tournaments themselves.
Although Obafemi feels that he is good enough to play for McCarthy’s side currently, the decision will come down to which setup the Southampton man gets called into.
“I’d like to think I’m good enough to play for the senior side, but obviously, there’s a lot of stuff going on with both the U21s and the U19s.
“The U21’s have that Toulon tournament in the summer, the European Championships are coming up for the U19s in July as well. I’m eligible to play in all of them but it’s just about which one I get called up into.”
"Personally, I've not spoken to Mick McCarthy yet, but I've spoken to the U21s manager and I think we'll be working together very soon."Republic of Ireland striker Michael Obafemi looks like he's set to join up with the U21s. Just how good is that squad going to be!??? #COYBIG ☘️ #WhereEveryonePlays
Posted by Pundit Arena on Thursday, April 4, 2019
Stay with Pundit Arena over the coming days for more exclusive video and written content from Ireland international Michael Obafemi.
Coca-Cola Ireland is giving Irish football fans a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the iconic Premier League Trophy this April as part of Coca-Cola’s exciting sponsorship.
On Saturday 13th April the famous trophy will be on public display in Dundrum Town Square from 10-6pm, with Michael Obafemi appearing on-stage to talk about his emerging career in the Premier League.
This is to celebrate Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of the Premier League that began in 2019 which will bring Irish fans closer to the action than ever before, with unrivalled one-off experiences, access to the biggest games and other opportunities over the next three years