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WATCH | Vinny Perth on Ireland's 'young Rio Ferdinand'

Vinny Perth believes that Ireland might have a 'young Rio Ferdinand' in Norwich City defender And...

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

21:34 11 Apr 2021



Soccer

WATCH | Vinny Perth on Ireland's 'young Rio Ferdinand'

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

21:34 11 Apr 2021


Vinny Perth believes that Ireland might have a 'young Rio Ferdinand' in Norwich City defender Andrew Omobamidele.

Perth waxed lyrical of the centre-back who may well begin to force his way into the senior squad after his recent performances for the Canaries.

Perth says that the emergence of Omobamidele prompted him to go all football geek in his research.

New Rio Ferdinand?

"When a player like that appears on the radar, the nerd in me does a bit of investigation: who is he, where does he come from? I obviously knew that he was playing underage for Ireland; he would have played more for Ireland in the under-19s but the games were called off because of COVID.

"I watched him play for the Ireland under-21s against Wales - he was ok, it wasn't a great game in the sense that it was an open training ground but he did ok. But I watched him against Preston in a 1-1 draw, and he subsequently stayed in the team. He has been outstanding - a really, really exciting footballer.

"They want to play out from the back, he is so comfortable on the ball. I hate giving players tags, but he looks like a young Rio Ferdinand. He has got bits to learn, in that he could develop his upper body strength but he is 18, playing against men.

"He is so calm on the ball, so assured on the ball, his passing range is excellent. I believe he could play in the number 6 role, he could be a Declan Rice-type player. It will be interesting to see."

Championship

The former Dundalk boss did not stop there after his comparison to Ferdinand.

"He is one of the most exciting young players I've seen in a long, long time coming through the Irish setup. I wouldn't say he is under the radar but because it is Championship football, people aren't commenting too much on it.

"My only concern is that he would probably develop so much better if Norwich were, ironically, a Championship club for another year. When he goes to the Premiership, all of his little mistakes and errors could be found out. Hopefully not.

"But, by god, have we god an exciting talent on our hands in this player. People say you can't play out from the back - our kids are being brought up that way, and he is the exact example of it.

"He is one of the most outstanding centre-halves I have seen in a long, long time in Irish youth football. He is well on his way to being all that and I believe he is a great kid as well - that is an important part of it."

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