John Joe Patrick Finn and Mipo Odubeko commit future to Ireland

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There were questions over their international allegiance beforehand.

Talented teenagers Mipo Odubeko and John Joe Patrick Finn have committed to Ireland after initial doubts over their international future.

Neither expressed an aspiration to play for another country, however there was stiff competition to secure their signatures. Finn in particular was a wanted man having been in contact with the Spanish, English and Irish FA’s in the last few months.

Securing the signatures of the pair can be seen as a major positive to Ireland as both have the ability to go far in the game.

Odubeko was included in the Ireland u21 squad that was announced yesterday for the upcoming friendly against Wales. Finn picked up an injury which is why he missed out on the squad, but his desire to represent the country has been confirmed.

“He certainly wants to play for the Republic of Ireland,” u21 boss Jim Crawford confirmed while speaking at a press conference today.

“Unfortunately he picked up an injury a couple of days ago and he’s out for, I think, 10 or 12 days. So, a little bit of a disappointment for us and particularly John Joe.

“We had a lot of conversations over the last number of weeks and they’ve been all positive, so.

“I’ve no doubt that perhaps the next window, and if everything is fine with regards injuries and what have you will, that we’ll have John Joe Finn on board.”

Both players have appeared for their club’s first team this season, West Ham (Odubeko) and Getafe (Finn) respectively.

Finn plays as a midfielder and has featured a number of times for Getafe, primarily off the bench, but he has started a couple of cup games as well.

He became the youngest debutant in the history of the club as he made his La Liga debut against Getafe in December aged just 17 years and 42 days.

Odubeko is a striker and has featured less often for West Ham’s senior team, however his record at youth level is far more publicised.

The 18-year-old left Ireland in 2015 to join Manchester City’s youth side. He didn’t last long in the blue, though, as he switched sides to join Manchester United in 2016.

While at Manchester United, he became one of the hottest prospects at the club owing to his incredible scoring record.

However, he decided to reject a Manchester United contract offer in 2019 as he looked to take his services elsewhere. There was plenty of interest in Odubeko across Europe but he decided to stay in England and sign for West Ham United.

Since moving, Odubeko managed an incredible 18 goal contributions in just 11 games at underage level.

His form for the u23s and u18s seen him get a chance with the first team on two occasions.

His debut came in January against Stockport County in the FA Cup, however he had very little time to make an impression.

He was given another chance in the same competition almost a month later, however this time they faced much fiercer competition in Manchester United. He came on in the 54th minute and showed a couple of nice touches but failed to influence proceedings as he became increasingly isolated up front.

David Moyes controversially subbed him off in extra time after bringing him earlier in the match.

Odubeko has featured on the bench several times since but is yet to receive further first team minutes.

Ireland u21 face Wales u21 next Friday with Odubeko likely to be involved at some point if not from the beginning. The match will be streamed on the Welsh FA’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

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