Destiny Udogie’s agent, Stefano Antonelli, has revealed that Tottenham Hotspur denied permission for the 20-year-old left-back to join Italy’s national side during the recent international break. Udogie, who has been a standout performer for Spurs this season, had expressed his eagerness to represent his nation but faced opposition from his club.
Destiny Udogie’s journey to prominence began when Tottenham signed him from Udinese last year for an initial fee of £15 million, as reported by Sky Sports. Following a successful loan spell at Stadio Friuli, Udogie returned to Spurs in the summer and quickly cemented his place as a key player under manager Ange Postecoglou in the Premier League.
The young defender, who made his international debut for Italy just last month, was hopeful of continuing his national team stint in the recent fixtures against North Macedonia and Ukraine. However, Tottenham, wary of a recent knock, decided not to grant Udogie permission to join the Italian squad, much to the disappointment of both the player and national team coach Luciano Spalletti.
Stefano Antonelli shed light on the situation, expressing regret for the missed opportunity. He explained, “The first to be sorry is Spalletti. Unfortunately, in the match against Sheffield United at home, Destiny had a flexor problem. Tottenham did everything they could to get him back for the Chelsea game, which was also a poor match: he played 60 minutes before being sent off.”
Antonelli continued, detailing the efforts made by Udogie to convince the Tottenham staff to release him for international duty. “Afterwards, it was deemed appropriate not to risk it as there would be a risk of relapse. Destiny, until the last moment, tried to convince the Tottenham staff that the national team was something exceptional for him. He is a 20-year-old who told me, ‘we want to be part of history, to be part of this group in the run-up to the Euros is to be part of history’.”
This revelation raises questions about the balance between club and international commitments and the complexities faced by young talents like Udogie in navigating their careers on both fronts. As Udogie continues to impress in the Premier League, it remains to be seen how this development will impact his future aspirations with the Italian national team and his relationship with Tottenham Hotspur.