Ireland lures Obafemi for Euro 2020 play-off

Michael Obafemi and Ronan Curtis have been catching Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy’s eye ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Slovakia in March.
McCarthy watched Obafemi play for his club for the first time last Saturday in the FA Cup against Tottenham Hotspur, having previously left it to his assistants and scouts.
Shane Long, who the Ireland boss may have been due to check out, was rested for the game due to a knee concern.
Obafemi started alongside Danny Ings in the Saints attack.
“I’ve had Michael watched several times but this was the first time I’ve seen him live myself and I did like what I saw,” McCarthy told
“He linked up well with Danny Ings, he got in behind the Spurs defence and while he didn’t have that many shots himself, he was a constant nuisance for the opposition.
“Michael did all the things I expected of him very well. We had Southampton watched when they won at Crystal Palace recently and the reports on Michael, Shane and James McCarthy were all very positive.
“Like all our players, Michael is benefitting from regular first-team football and he certainly gave me something to think about on Saturday. I’ll be back to watch him again and to have a look at Shane.
“I’ve also kept in regular contact with Shane and I’ve repeatedly told him that his return to form with his club will count for March.”