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West Ham youngster insists he definitely will not follow in the footsteps of Declan Rice

West Ham youngster Mipo Odubeko has insisted that he will not follow Declan Rice by switching allegiances from Ireland.

West Ham brought the 19-year-old to the London Stadium from Manchester United in October 2019.

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Mipo arrived in East London with a big reputation of scoring goals at youth level but he really hasn’t established himself with West Ham whatsoever.

The young striker struggled during a loan spell with Huddersfield Town during the first half of the season and returned to the Hammers in January.

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Mipo was then moved on again, this time on loan to Doncaster Rovers towards the end of the January transfer window. He is still yet to score for his new club.

The teenager has been heavily criticised from some sections of the West Ham fanbase.

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He risked the wrath of the Hammers fans in January when he took to Instagram and liked a celebration message posted by Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford after the 24-year-old won the game against West Ham with a last minute winner at Old Trafford.

There are some real question marks hanging over his head regarding his attitude and application. It could be suggested that his approach to the game is the polar opposite to that of Declan Rice.

One black mark on Rice’s track record, however, was the manner in which he ditched Ireland in order to represent England. That’s something that Mipo apparently won’t be doing.

Mipo Odubeko insists he won’t do what Declan Rice did

The 19-year-old sat down for an exclusive interview with the Irish Independent and pledged his allegiance to the Republic of Ireland:

“It’s very easy from the outside to make that sort of assumption, but I am me. I am the one who knows what’s going on. In my mind, there has never been any doubt or any other consideration. Ireland gave me the platform to be who I am today, the player I am today. It’s clear to me.”

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Mipo went on to say:

“In recent times, for call-ups, I was around the first team at West Ham. They came when I was solely focused on West Ham and getting into the first team there, I was on the bench a lot. That was my focus and I didn’t want anything to get in the way of that. That could have been taken the wrong way, but I have never taken my eyes off Ireland. I was born and bred in Tallaght, and I grew up watching Robbie Keane. I went to the same school as Robbie, he was always my idol, so I never ever took my eyes off Ireland. I have watched every Irish game. I see lads I grew up with, like Troy Parrott and Andrew Omobamidele, you can see the pathway there.”

Good luck to him.

In all fairness, he’s nowhere near good enough to be playing for West Ham let alone the England national team.

The teenager needs to sort out his attitude first and foremost and then prove that he is capable of scoring goals consistently at club level.

And maybe then he can think about playing for Ireland. Perhaps he should try to learn from the way in which Declan Rice operates.

The 23-year-old goes about his business in exemplary fashion. It’s why he is where he is today.

Whether Mipo will ever fulfil his potential, however, remains to be seen.

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