Michael Olise: Patrick Vieira to let forward decide international future

3 months ago 383
Michael Olise in action for Crystal PalaceMichael Olise has scored four goals in 24 appearances for Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira says he will not try and influence Michael Olise's decision on his international future.

London-born forward Olise, 20, has represented France at youth level but could also play for England, Nigeria or Algeria.

Vieira was a key part of the France side which won the World Cup in 1998, and Olise was his first signing for the Eagles last July.

"This is his decision he has to make as a player," Viera said. "This is a family decision, he didn't come time to ask me any advice.

"What is important as well for Michael is that his focus and concentration has to be on Crystal Palace and how to keep performing like he has been in the last couple of games."

With a Nigerian father and a French-Algerian mother widening his international options, Olise is yet to declare for any of the countries he can represent at senior level.

However, he appeared for France Under-18s in 2019, and last March he was named on Nigeria's stand-by list for Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Benin and Lesotho.

Vieira's comments come amid reports that England boss Gareth Southgate is now also monitoring Olise, who has scored four goals in 24 appearances since joining from Reading for £8m.

Vieira says the youngster is "playing well" despite enduring an injury-hit campaign at Selhurst Park.

"We knew how good he was and since he has been with us he had a couple of difficult first months because of injuries," the 45-year-old added.

"He managed to get back on the field, and his work ethic is unbelievable. He has managed to earn the trust of his teammates.

"We love him and he is happy being with us. He is enjoying his football. Hopefully he will be with us for a long, long time."

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