Huge congratulations to Michael Olise who’ll represent France at next month’s Toulon Tournament. The Reading youngster has reportedly declined interest from England and Nigeria, both of which countries he’s eligible for, in favour of turning out for France’s under-19s.
The prestigious competition takes place every year, and will feature 12 countries in 2019. France, one of four European nations taking part, are in a group that also features Brazil, Guatemala and Qatar. England are also taking part and are initially going up against Chile, Japan and Portugal.
Being involved is a big milestone for Olise, and a recognition of the highly talented player he is. In fact, he’s one of just three members of the French squad that aren’t based in France itself - Koba Koindredi and Ulrick Brad Eneme Ella play for Valencia (Spain) and Liefering (Austria) respectively.
For a full squad list, go to this website.
It marks the end of a fantastic season for Olise who’s emerged from the under-18s to win a place in the first team and catch the eye doing so, particularly in his final-day cameo against Birmingham City. Making four appearances for Jose Gomes’ side at just 17 years of age, he was a worthy winner of the club’s ‘Scholar of the Year’ award.
Side note: Michael Olise’s brother Richard is a youth international for England. He plays for Chelsea, for whom Michael used to play.
You can follow Olise’s progress in the Toulon Tournament from June 2, when France’s involvement starts against Qatar (3.30pm ko). They then face Brazil at 7.30pm on June 5 before going up against Guatemala on June 8 (3.00pm ko).
As it happens, France are the most frequent winners of the competition with 12 titles, so Olise stands a good chance of silverware. However, since France’s last victory in 2015, England have won the Toulon Tournament on all subsequent occasions.
Reading’s last involvement in Toulon came in 2017, when Zak Jules and Jordan Holsgrove represented Scotland. A year earlier, England’s squad featured past and future Royals in Lewis Baker, Nathaniel Chalobah and John Swift. What a midfield three that would be...
Anyway, while you’re here, check out this Michael Olise gem from after the Brentford win.