Emmanuel Osadebe signs for Cambridge United

PUBLISHED: 18:01 31 May 2017 | UPDATED: 18:01 31 May 2017

ILIFFE

Central midfielder arrives from Gillingham

Emmanuel Osadebe is looking to add even more energy to Cambridge United’s midfield after becoming their third summer signing.

The 20-year-old has moved to the Cambs Glass Stadium on a two-year-old deal after his contract expired at Gillingham.

Osadebe came through the ranks of Tottenham Hotspur’s Foundation College programme, before signing his first professional contract at the Priestfield Stadium in May 2015.

The central midfielder, who is Irish of Nigerian descent, went on to make 52 appearances in all competitions for the Gills.

“I’m very happy to be given the opportunity by Cambridge United so I’m very pleased to be here,” said Osadebe.

“From speaking to Shaun Derry (United’s head coach), he spoke very well of the players already here and I was really interested in becoming a part of that group.

“I love to play as a box-to-box midfielder and I feel I can add energy in midfield.

“The experience of playing in League One for Gillingham has been invaluable and I feel ready to take on what this division has to offer.

“There are clear aims for next season and I want to play a role in the push forward.”

Head coach Shaun Derry said: “Emmanuel is a player that we have had on our radar for a long time now.

“His journey into professional football has taken a slightly different course which gives him a rawness to his game that we believe we can mould.

“He’s physically combative with the ability to play in various roles and that gives us a fantastic number of choices for our midfield next season.”

And United head of football operations, Ben Strang, admitted that they have tried to bring Osadebe to the Cambs Glass Stadium in the past.

“We were unsuccessful in previous attempts to bring Emmanuel to the club, so naturally we are delighted to complete the signing,” said Strang.

“He has played 42 League One games, is still 20 years old and there is no question in our mind that he is a player of huge potential.

“When he broke on to the scene with Gillingham, he was monitored by clubs in higher leagues and we believe there is the genuine potential for Emmanuel to progress and play at a higher level.

“The three signings to this point have added pace, power and strength to the squad which we had identified as a key requirement in giving the squad greater balance.”

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