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Ogbonna pining for international recognition

Filed: Wednesday, 14th November 2018
By: Staff Writer

Angelo Ogbonna says he is desperate to represent his country again - despite having lost his first team place at West Ham.

The 30-year-old central defender was axed earlier in the year in favour of new signings Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop since when he has been restricted to substitute appearances and featuring in the Carabao Cup.

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However the 13-times-capped Ogbonna maintains he is still good enough to represent Italy - even though he understands his lack of first team football renders that an unlikely scenario presently.

"Wearing Italy's shirt is always a goal for me, as far as I'm concerned," he told Sky Sports Italy. "It is normal not to be in the crosshair of the coach in this difficult moment for the team, but that is always a target for me.

"Is there space in the national team for another 30-year-old, with Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini? There are many players and the competition is high - and it is not me who makes the choices."

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Ogbonna, who has spent the last three-and-a-half years at West Ham had featured on just seven occasions so far this season, having been dropped following West Ham's 2-1 defeat at home to Bournemouth in August.

Since then he had made just three starts - all in the Carabao Cup - although he has made two further appearances as a substitute, against Tottenham and at Leicester in the recent 1-1 draw.

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