Lille's Jonathan Bamba discusses Cote d'Ivoire interest
In-form LOSC Lille wideman Jonathan Bamba has revealed that he has been contacted by the Cote d'Ivoire about representing the Elephants at international level but has refused to commit to the West African side.
The 22-year-old, who has scored seven times and has one assist in 12 Ligue 1 outings for Les Dogues so far this season, believes he has the quality to represent France and is currently focusing on a future with Les Bleus.
"I was contacted by the Cote d'Ivoire," he told Téléfoot [as per La Voix du Nord], "and why not [join the squad]?
"However, at the moment, I'm a French international and that's fine for now. There's a lot of talent in the senior side, and it's up to me to work to hope to make a few appearances one day."
Bamba joined Lille on a free transfer in the summer after a sole Ligue 1 season with Saint-Etienne's senior side, for whom he scored seven and contributed eight assists last term.
The forward was born in Alfortville, and has represented France at various youth levels up to U-21.
"We know that Didier Deschamps has faith in youth," he continued. "We see it with Ben Pavard and Luis Hernandez, whom I played alongside at youth level.
"We've talked amongst ourselves, and it's up to us to work."
This season, Bamba has played a key role in Lille's fine start to the season, as the Northerners have put last year's relegation scare behind them to sit third after 12 matches.
He's starred alongside another Ivorian, Nicolas Pepe, who found the net on Friday as Lille were defeated 2-1 by league leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
"I think I still have some way to go," Bamba concluded. "I still have work to do.
"LOSC was the right choice, and it's up to me to work to hope to achieve even more."