English Premiership

Hodgson wants Ibe to commit to England

2015-09-13 11:09
Jordan Ibe (Getty Images)

London - England manager Roy Hodgson is hopeful that Liverpool winger Jordon Ibe will ignore solicitations from the Nigerian Football Federation and commit his international future to England.

Ibe, 19, recently made his debut for England's under-21s, having previously been capped at under-18, under-19 and under-20 level, but qualifies to play for Nigeria through his father.

Nigeria head coach Sunday Oliseh visited Ibe at Liverpool's Melwood training ground last month to sound him out, but Hodgson says the teenager could soon enter into the England senior team's plans.

"The fact is that he is playing for England, for the under-21s, and as far as I am concerned, people play for the under-21s because they want to play for England," Hodgson told reporters after England's 2-0 win over Switzerland in Euro 2016 qualifying last Tuesday.

"My attitude on that one is quite clear, too. I want players who want to play for England. I am not going to start making players English by giving them a few minutes in games.

"I want Jordon to fight for his place in the team, like everyone else, but he is certainly a player we like very much, one who we have our eyes on and (it is) not far from being impossible that he gets called up in one of the next games."

Ibe, who caught the eye as a substitute in Liverpool's 3-1 loss at Manchester United on Saturday, first came to Hodgson's attention following a tip-off from his former captain Steven Gerrard.

"He wasn't at Liverpool when I was there (as manager), but Stevie said we have got this young lad, he is something special, and of course he had the same feeling about Raheem (Sterling)," Hodgson said.

"But be careful. People take their time. There is competition in his place. Our competition is getting stronger.

"We are delighted he is doing well, that he is playing in the under-21s, but if he wants to break into our team he will have to keep doing well for Liverpool and maybe keep doing well for the under-21s and wait his chance.

"When the chance comes, takes it. If you are asking me does he have the potential and ability? Absolutely, 100 percent."

Read more on:    england  |  roy hodgson  |  jordan ibe  |  soccer
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