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Omobamidele caps fairytale week with 'excellent' Premier League debut

The 19-year-old Ireland defender was given the nod for Norwich City’s meeting with Arsenal.

PA-62264037 Andrew Omobamidele in possession for Ireland during Tuesday's game against Serbia. Source: Peter Morrison/AP/Press Association Images

JUST FOUR DAYS after being rewarded with his first senior start for the Republic of Ireland, there was another milestone moment in the career of Andrew Omobamidele yesterday as the youngster made his Premier League debut for Norwich City.

Manager Daniel Farke explained that the 19-year-old centre-back was selected for the game against Arsenal as the Canaries “needed a bit more pace against a really pacy, offensive team”.

Despite being part of a side who lost 1-0 following a 66th-minute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goal, Omobamidele acquitted himself well in his first top-flight outing in England.

It came on the back of an immense performance from the Leixlip native on Tuesday night at the Aviva Stadium, where Ireland drew 1-1 with Serbia in a World Cup qualifier. 

“It’s been a great week,” said Omobamidele. “It’s what I’ve dreamt of since I started playing football – obviously on the international stage and then here – so hopefully I’ll get more moments like this.

“This is the level I want to play at and these are the type of opposition that I want to be playing against week-in-week-out throughout my whole career hopefully. To be playing against them at a young age is invaluable experience.”

In his assessment of Omobamidele’s performance at the Emirates Stadium, Farke said afterwards: “He was excellent in his defending, calmness, positioning and the build-up.”

A fourth defeat from as many games leaves Norwich continuing to search for their first point of the season, but Omobamidele believes yesterday’s display was something to build on.

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“It was a good performance from the boys, we should be proud of it, but obviously it was a disappointing ending,” he said

“When I watched the goal on the screen, my immediate reaction was that it was offside. I thought the linesman was going to flag it.

“There were some parts of the game that we dominated and at the back we defended well on crosses, so there are a lot of positives.

“I know it’s early on, it’s a fresh defeat and we might be a bit down, but I think there are a lot of positives that we can take.”

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Paul Dollery

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