Wayne Rooney Sees A Future For Ireland U21 International Festy Ebosele Further Up The Pitch

Having mostly been employed at right-back since making his senior debut earlier this year, the 19-year-old from Wexford played as a right-winger against Millwall on Saturday.

His first goal for the club he joined from Bray Wanderers put relegation-threatened Derby ahead and they eventually hung on for a 1-1 draw with 10 men.

“Festy is difficult to play against – he is raw, quick and strong,” Rooney said.

“He will make mistakes on the pitch, we know that, he is a young player but I thought he was very good, always a threat and it was a nice finish from him as well.

“I was really pleased for him because he has put a lot of work in.

Great work from Sam Baldock and Tom Lawrence to put it on a plate for Festy Ebosele…

“I spoke to Festy at the end of last season, he was playing at right back. I just felt with his attributes he can be very dangerous playing higher up the pitch.”

 

“So we spoke to him and watched videos with him, and have done a lot of work with him trying to make him a more attacking player. I think you have seen it in teams with Michail Antonio at West Ham and Adama Traore at Wolves changing positions.

“Festy has got the ability to cause teams problems. If he keeps working and keeps improving, he can be a big player.”

Ebosele will be away on international duty this week as Ireland’s U21s face crunch Euro 2023 qualifiers against Sweden (Friday) and Italy (Tuesday, 12 November).

“I’m very proud,” he told Rams TV after his first goal. “It’s the happiest moment of my career so far.

“I just started running everywhere but then the lads were telling me to calm down because the game was still going on!

“After coming into this match with two losses, a draw is good. It gives us momentum for when we come back after the international break.”

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