Osadebe: Ex-Tottenham Hotspur midfielder wants to play for Nigeria, not Ireland

Emmanuel OsadebeGetty

Emmanuel Osadebe has revealed he wants to play for Nigeria at international level instead of the Republic of Ireland.

Born to Nigerian parents in Dundalk, the midfielder trained with the Irish U21 squad ahead of their friendly against Norway in 2015, but did not make the matchday squad.

So he remains eligible to represent the Super Eagles at the senior level.

Having joined League Two side Bradford City for an undisclosed fee recently, he hopes that playing for the Bantams can help him actualise that aspiration.  

"Ireland's not for me, I want to play for Nigeria,” Osadebe told The Telegraph and Argus.

“I’m still only 25 years old, and if I have a good season this year and then a couple more higher up, I know it can happen.

“I believe it will happen, and I hope that being at Bradford starts that process up and we keep moving up because the goal is to get promotion.”

Osadebe began his youth career at Dundalk in 2014 before moving to Tottenham Hotspur that same year. From there, he joined Gillingham – where he was handed his first professional contract.

 “I was only at Spurs for a short while, but I enjoyed every minute of it,” he said of time at Spurs.

“Some of the young lads there turned out to be the best right now, like Harry Kane.

“I trained alongside him with the Under-23s and he’s doing alright, isn’t he?

“It really developed my technical side being there, and I’ve got to put it all together, with what I’ve learned since, at Bradford.”

Before joining Bradford, the Irishman of Nigerian descent had enjoyed spells at Cambridge United, Newport County, Macclesfield Town and Walsall.

Osadebe can play across the midfield, but his new boss Mark Hughes wants that focus to be narrowed.

 “I have played in a number of positions in the past,” he added.

“But I’ve already spoken to the gaffer and he’s keen for me to focus on one or two positions, which he knows I can do for the team.

“A big thing for me is to get those goals and assists up from the start of the season to the end.”