Doncaster Rovers striker receives international call-up

Mipo Odubeko has received a first call-up for Republic of Ireland Under-21s after committing his international future to Eire.

By Paul Goodwin
Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 4:12 pm
Mipo Odubeko
Mipo Odubeko

The Doncaster Rovers loanee had reportedly been considering his options and Nigeria were understood to be keen on him switching allegiance.

But the 19-year-old Dubliner has been named in the Republic’s U21 squad for their European Championship qualifier in Sweden on March 29 following a one-to-one chat with boss Jim Crawford.

Odubeko last represented Ireland in 2019 and was understood to have been angered after being snubbed for their Under-17 European Championship campaign later that year.

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A year ago he was excused an international call-up at the request of his club, West Ham United.

The teenager will miss Rovers’ home game with Charlton Athletic on March 26 as a result of his call-up.

Odubeko is yet to score for Rovers in 11 appearances since joining in January. He made six appearances for Huddersfield Town in the Championship earlier in the season.

Crawford told The42: “I met Mipo, they played against Wimbledon a couple of weeks ago. We had a chat and he’s loving his football at the minute.

“It’s been made clear to me that he always wanted to play for Ireland but that at that particular stage of his career, his young career, he wanted to concentrate and focus on club football.

“Again, I’m not going to twist anybody’s arm. If you want to play, get in touch. And he eventually did.

"He’s somebody who offers something different to the 21s with his pace. And he scores goals, I’ve seen that at schoolboy level, I’ve seen that at Under-23s level and now it won’t be too far down the line that he’s scoring goals for Doncaster.”

He added: “West Ham, at Under-23s, it’s build up play, proper developmental football.

“He’s involved with Doncaster at the minute, it’s a real scrap for him. So, he’s learning the other side of the game, the defensive side. He’s been very good with Doncaster.

“I wouldn’t say they have created too many goal-scoring opportunities for him but I think he has shown a side of his game that he has really improved on.

“That’s closing down defenders, being disciplined in that striker’s role, the other side of the game.”