West Ham United youngster Ajibola Alese played the full contest in England’s U17’s 1-0 friendly defeat against Brazil at the Pinatar Arena.
Despite the result, the Irons centre-back has spoken of his enjoyment to be playing for Steve Cooper’s England and the invaluable experience that comes with it.
Alese is no stranger to international football, having previously been capped at U15 and U16 levels. He made his debut for the U17s earlier this year, when he was called up to feature for the Three Lions in the Algarve Tournament.
Despite losing the game I feel the team put in a good performance, and I’m satisfied with how I did as well.
He told whufc.com: “I am enjoying the international experience a lot. Playing with different players that you’re used to at club football is always good, especially off the pitch to create new relationships.
“Despite losing the game I feel the team put in a good performance, and I’m satisfied with how I did as well. It was really hot conditions, so it wasn’t easy to play in, but I’m happy with how we played.”
A third cap at U17 international level for Alese is the latest step in his comeback from injury, with the youngster missing a large portion of the early campaign.
Having played in the first Premier League 2 match of the season, Alese has now made four appearances at U23s level for the Hammers this season.
And the young defender is ready to maximise what he has learnt from international football when he returns to club football with West Ham.
“In international football, if you concede first, it’s so hard to come back from a goal down. The standard of the game at this level is impressive. What I can definitely take back from playing for England is a stronger defensive mentality and understanding of a different type of football.”