Cambridge United midfielder Emmanuel Osadebe joins Newport County on loan
Former Gillingham man looking to get match time under his belt
Emmanuel Osadebe has gone out on loan to Newport County for the remainder of the Sky Bet League Two season.
The 21-year-old joined Cambridge United during the summer on a two-year deal from Gillingham, but he has struggled for game time since switching to the Abbey, making just three appearances.
“I keep saying with all players, the idea of being a footballer is to play games,” said U’s head coach Shaun Derry.
“Sadly for Emmanuel, he has not been on the pitch too often this term and that’s because the competition in front of him is a really high quality.
“He’s got a great opportunity going to play for Newport, and hopefully for Emmanuel he can go and get the games that he requires at this stage of his career.
“He’s a young player who has come over from Gillingham and the intention was to try to break into this team.
“But he’s not been able to do that, and looking at the books, you’ve got to always try to balance them properly. To carry a top heavy group of lads can sometimes be really negative for you.”
Osadebe started out at League of Ireland club Dundalk’s academy but on moving to London, gained a place in the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s education and football development programme at Barnet & Southgate College in 2014, studying for a BTec Level 3 qualification in sport.
He was spotted by Gillingham and was invited to play four matches for their development side, impressing to earn a professional contract.
And he went on to make 42 appearances for the Gills before switching to the U’s last summer, but it has not quite battled to feature.
“The intentions on both parts was to come and have a successful time at Cambridge, but we all know that’s not the case,” said Derry.
“I would like to look at it positively from our angle is the lads we have got are starting to really develop now, and I think over past six to eight weeks we’ve seen that development take a different type of direction.
“You look at the likes of Gary Deegan and we’ve been wanting and willing for him to be that leader for us, and he’s proved that throughout the course of the season.
“He’s got stern competition in and around him.
“We’ve brought in Adam Phillips, and you’ve got Paul Lewis and Medy Elito who can play in midfield so when you find yourself fourth or fifth choice, you want to help the players.
“The openness that Emmanuel has given us is his own desire to go and play, and our desire to try to help him has culminated in a decent move for him.”
Derry did not rule out Paul Lewis also seeking a chance to get some more minutes under his belt.
The 23-year-old midfielder made six appearances on loan at National League side Dover earlier in the season, and on his return to the Abbey has featured nine times.
But he suffered a setback with an injury over the festive season.
“Paul is similar to Emmanuel really because he has obviously found it difficult to get his game time,” said Derry.
“He went away to Dover and got his games and got his confidence. He came back and was then hit by injury.
“Sometimes the injuries can come at a really horrible time, and it coincided in him missing a chunk of the Christmas period which was our profitable spell.
“Adam has come in, Liam O’Neil’s there as is Gary Deegan and Paul finds himself perhaps just in the background slightly.
“If there is any interest in Paul, then we would have to look at it fairly. But while he is at the club and training with the intensity he is, he is very much part of the group.”