Irish legend heaps praise on City youngster

Republic of Ireland's Andrew Omobamidele (right) and Gavin Bazunu on the pitch before the 2022 FIFA

Norwich City youngster Andrew Omobamidele has been singled out for praise by Irish legend Paul McGrath. - Credit: PA

Andrew Omobamidele has taken to international football in a similar fashion to how he burst onto the scene for Norwich City. 

The young defender has impressed since linking up with Stephen Kenny's Republic of Ireland squad and was one of the standout performers during their 1-1 draw with Serbia on Tuesday night. 

Omobamidele's call-up arrived soon after his impressive spell at the back end of the season, where he filled in after injuries to Ben Gibson and Christoph Zimmermann. The teenager was thrown into the deep end for seven matches but looked at home during the Canaries' Championship triumph. 

His performances saw him likened to a 'young Rio Ferdinand' by Irish pundit and ex-Dundalk manager Vinny Perth. 

Daniel Farke has taken an altogether different approach and was seen coaching Omobamidele on the pitch over his positioning at a defensive throw in after City thumped Huddersfield 7-0 in April. 

City's head coach opts for a tough-love strategy when it comes to developing young talent and Omobamidele is no different. The Irish defender returned to Colney in great shape at the start of the summer and remains a part of their first-team plans despite the arrival of Ozan Kabak. 

Ex-Manchester United and Aston Villa defender Paul McGrath is the latest to pile the praise on the City defender and tweeted his thoughts on an assured display from the 19-year-old. 

"Andrew Omobamidele. Take a bow sir. Brilliant Display from this kid. The future looks a little brighter," the 80 time Irish international wrote on his social media page/ 

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City's defender could have won it for Ireland late on but saw his long-range effort saved by Predrag Rajkovic. 

It was only his second international appearance for Ireland and his first start. As has been the case since he was thrust into the starting XI for City, Omobamidele has taken it all in his stride. 

McGrath's thoughts were shared by Kenny, who deployed Omobamidele on the right side of a back three. 

Speaking after the game, the Irish chief sang the praises of the Norwich man, who contended against two experienced strikers with real composure. 

"Listen, I couldn't have predicted that Andrew and Gavin (Bazunu) played as well as they did," Kenny told PA. 

Paul McGrath in the stands before the International Friendly match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin.

Paul McGrath has heaped praise on Norwich City youngster Andrew Omobamidele. - Credit: PA

"Andrew was against Mitrovic and (Dusan) Vlahovic there, two really physically powerful guys, but he just has another gear. He's so quick and his composure - the two players, Andrew and Gavin, their composure is incredible.

"But it's early days for them. Andrew has only played seven league games for Norwich. He had a great pre-season, played every minute in pre-season, and I know how highly they regard him there.

"They really do regard him highly, and he showed why tonight."

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