England Under-20 winger who was wanted by Newcastle says Cottagers are the best footballing team in the Championship
SHEYI OJO has revealed why he signed for Fulham on loan despite Premier League interest.
The England kid was wanted by top-flight Newcastle as well as Championship big-spenders Middlesbrough.
But Ojo, 20, agreed with parent club Liverpool that it was best to go to a club where he would play regularly to help his development.
He felt there was nowhere better to do that than with Slavisa Jokanovic’s great entertainers in West London.
Winger Ojo said: “The main decision this season was about getting the exposure and the game-time that’s going to help my development.
“If I had gone on loan to the Premier League, maybe that would have been a different matter.
“I came to Craven Cottage for the game against Norwich on the first day of the season and I really liked the style of play Fulham were playing.
“In my opinion, Fulham are the best footballing team in the Championship and that’s only going to improve me.
“As a young player, you can only really develop if you’re playing games.
“Last season I was limited to playing-time with injuries and stuff. This season the main aim was to get regular games and improve.”
This summer, Hemel Hempstead-born Ojo experienced a feeling no Englishman has had since 1966 when he helped the Under-20s win the World Cup.
He played mostly from the bench but grabbed two assists in the semi-final win over Italy and came on in the final against Venezuela. He feels the triumph proved how much exciting talent there is among England’s youth ranks, including new 17-year-old club-mate Ryan Sessegnon.
Ojo said: “It was a special tournament and to win it was a great feeling.
“But I think it was the journey that was more special. When we played our first game against Argentina we didn’t play really well but as the games went by, we grew in confidence.
“In the whole England youth set-up, we’ve got some really good players and a really good bunch of boys.”
Ojo has played for all of the Three Lions’ youth teams up to Under-21 but could still technically play his senior international football for Nigeria, for whom he also is eligible.
He said: “I’m not focusing on that much. Obviously my ambitions are to play at the highest level both for club and country.
“But right now the main thing is concentrate on Fulham, keep working hard, keep getting regular games and keep improving.”
Ojo certainly worked hard in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Hull at Craven Cottage, Fulham’s first home victory of the season in what has been a frustrating opening group of fixtures for the promotion hopefuls.
He said: “From day one, the manager has said that the main aim for this group of players is to get promoted.
“We all believe we can do it. More performances like the one against Hull are going to help us. Hopefully, we can keep improving and go up.”
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