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Southampton’s Ibrahima Diallo enjoying debut Premier League campaign

The 22-year-old is not ready to follow the same path as his elder brother who ditched France to play for Senegal last month

Southampton midfielder Ibrahima Diallo is not thinking of switching his international allegiance at the moment as he looks to find his way through France national team.

Diallo, born in France, is of Senegalese descent and his elder brother Abdou Diallo who plays for Paris Saint-Germain recently pledged his international allegiance to the West African country after playing across the French youth teams.

Abdou made his Senegal debut during 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Congo on March 26 which ended in a goalless draw.

Ibrahima, on his part, has also played for France U18, U19, U19, U20 and U21 teams, and he is ready to fight for his place in Didier Deschamps’ team.

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“For the moment I am part of the French under-21 team and, for the minute, that’s the only thing in my head,” Diallo told Daily Echo.

“Playing for another national team is a personal choice.

“Personally, I have been through all the different age groups in the French national system – there is big competition for places and that’s all I am concentrating on at the moment.”

Diallo moved to the Premier League from Ligue 1 club Brest last October and he has made 18 appearances so far in all competitions.

With Southampton in the FA Cup semi-final and 10 points clear of the relegation zone, the former Monaco midfielder stated that he is having  a good debut campaign in England.

“I have really enjoyed the season. I must stress it’s not finished yet so we must stay concentrated but up until now I have really enjoyed it,” the 22-year-old continued.

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“The process has gone very well. The manager welcomed me into the club very well and he explained clearly what he wanted from me on the pitch.

“I asked him lots of questions. There’s probably not enough time to go through them all! But they were mostly about his game.

“I wanted to know what he wanted from a player and I wanted to know if, what he had in mind was what I had in mind, in terms of style of play but also my progression as a player – because it was an important decision for me, an important step in my career.

“Gradually, as the games have gone by, I feel like I have adapted myself well.”

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