Hopes of Nigeria snapping up Southampton young striker, Michael Obafemi to don the country’s Green and White jersey have been dashed.

Obafemi has committed to playing for the Republic of Ireland at international level, putting an end to speculation he might elect to represent Nigeria or England.

The Southampton forward was born in Dublin to Nigerian parents, but grew up in London and is eligible to represent all three countries at international level.

Obafemi, 18, was called up to the Ireland squad on November 6 for the friendly against Northern Ireland and the UEFA Nations League match against Denmark.

Playerworks CSM, a football agency that represents Obafemi, released a statement on his behalf.

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"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 read.

"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 has appeared for Ireland at different age-group levels but will only be tied to one nation when he makes a competitive appearance for the senior side.

That competitive appearance will mostly happen during this international break as Ireland are set for action in the UEFA Nations League.


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