Shrewsbury Town starlet Nathanael Ogbeta: England and Manchester City heartbreak spurred me on

New Shrewsbury Town star Nathanael Ogbeta revealed Manchester City and England heartbreak helped spur him on into senior football.

Nathanael Ogbeta has proved an excellent acquisition for Shrewsbury Town since checking in from Manchester City last month (AMA)
Nathanael Ogbeta has proved an excellent acquisition for Shrewsbury Town since checking in from Manchester City last month (AMA)

The 19-year-old has shone for Town on the left side of defence since moving from boyhood club City in an 18-month deal last month.

Ogbeta admitted he paid the price for ‘relying on his reputation’ and went from ‘golden boy’ to falling out of the Manchester City under-23 and England youth reckoning last season.

But, amid whispers of a move abroad from Manchester, he opted for Shrewsbury where he has made an excellent impression and Ogbeta is feeling the benefit of the extra drive within senior football.

“It is very, very difficult,” Ogbeta said of breaking through at the Etihad Stadium. “But I don’t feel I did enough to push myself. I feel like I was comfortable and I shouldn’t have been.

“I needed to push, I’m not going to blame anyone. I believe I had the ability but the extra drive was what I’d been needing.

“The way I feel so confident, my faith in God is pushing me to a point where I can’t rely on my reputation.

“Last year I got dropped from the (City) under-23 team and that is something that has never happened, I was always the golden boy.

“When I lost that, I came out the England squad for the whole season. I lost everything.

“I relied on my reputation so much that I wasn’t pushing, it made me realise nothing is guaranteed and given to you in football.

“Now I have the mindset and desire to improve every day and always be better than yesterday. The moment you rely on your reputation you stop improving.”

Ogbeta, who previously played as a central midfielder, said he had hoped a move to Belgium or Portugal would come to light but admitted he is thriving ‘out of his comfort zone’ at Salop. The England under-20 international is living in Shrewsbury with his aunt and uncle, who is a doctor at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

He added: “It wasn’t my first choice to come to Shrewsbury but it was always in the air.

“I was hoping to go abroad like Belgium or Portugal or these sort of places but I was hearing of interest, interest, interest.

“I was in the last six months of my contract, I wasn’t really playing much at City. I was working hard every day but I wasn’t getting the opportunity to show (in matches).

“What the transfer window has shown me is that it’s not about what you do behind the scenes, it’s what you do when everyone’s watching you.

“I’ve been working hard but no-one knows about it. I wanted a move but my reputation wasn’t going to get me a move, so I had to go and prove myself.

“This is really out of my comfort zone but it’s a way to prove myself in a hard, difficult stage.

“I believe that it’s not just going to toughen me up, but also prepare me. Technically is where my game is but the other side of my game is what I’ve never had and that’s what I need to improve on.

“As I grow and understand the game it can really help me improve for the future. I really believe this was the best move for me to develop as a player and as a man.”

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