Irish Return Not a Given Despite Boro Heroics

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Is Shay Given’s potential international return dead and buried after Middlesbrough failed to extend his loan period? The Irish shot-stopper will return to Aston Villa at the end of February and will likely see out the season on the bench.

Boro were involved in negotiations with Villa during the transfer window but failed to reach agreement ahead of last Friday’s deadline. According to the Birmingham Mail, Villa will not allow the 37-year-old to sign for the remainder of the season as it would rule out a 24-hour recall clause.

The former Irish number one moved to the Riverside on an initial one month emergency loan last November and that deal was extended by a further two months on New Year’s Day.

Given has been lauded for his performances for Boro, keeping eight clean sheets in 13 games as the Teeside club edge closer to the Championship play-off spots.

Ireland’s assistant manager Roy Keane recently went to watch him in action against Chartlon as rumours abound of a potential international recall. However, the Donegal man will return to Villa Park at the end of the month where he looks likely to remain behind Brad Guzan and Jed Steer in the pecking order.

Given could go out on another loan before the end of the season when the emergency window opens in the coming days, but he cannot return to Middlesbrough.

In January, Given repeated his uncertainty about a potential return to the Irish set-up saying he had yet to hear from Martin O’Neill or Roy Keane and stating that much could happen before Ireland’s first Euro 2016 qualifier.

“That’s why I say this September is a long time away. I could be back as third choice at Aston Villa by then. I don’t know. It’s too soon to even comment.”

Image: @everythingmfc

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