This time last year, there were high hopes of transfer movement for Irish stars struggling at club level. A European Championship loomed on the horizon, a competition Marco Tardelli said could serve as a shop window for the Republic squad. The demand for our stars failed to materialise and Poland saw the shop bankrupt. This time however, it’s form players and old reliables that are attracting attention.
Póg Mo Goal looks at potential Irish movers during the January transfer window.
One of the form Irish players in the Premier League, McCarthy has been excelling in the Wigan midfield and has been touted as a possible target for Man United. Alex Ferguson has poured cold water on making any January signings but the 22-year-old is now coming across the radar of the league’s leading clubs. He has also finally started to feature in Giovanni Trapattoni’s plans. A move to a top English side will force his international’s manager’s hand.
Rumoured to be highly sought-after at Anfield, the arrival of Daniel Sturridge may have put paid to Shane Long moving to Merseyside but the West Brom man has been making headlines this season. Goals against Man City and Chelsea have alerted a few clubs while Robbie Keane’s waning influence on the Irish team could open the door for the Tipperaryman to cement his place.
An injury sustained at Euro 2012 has ruined Dunne’s season at Aston Villa with question marks hanging over, not only his future at the club, but in the game itself. Nevertheless, the Minister for Defence has been mentioned in a surprise link-up with Thierry Henry at New York Red Bulls to join fellow Irish internationals Robbie Keane and Darren O’Dea stateside. Harry Redknapp’s QPR are also said to be on the trail of the Honey Monster.
Keano enjoyed a stellar season at LA Galaxy helping them to the MLS title and making the league team-of-the-year. With the American season in closedown, there are inevitable calls for a return loan spell in the Premier League. Another successful spell at Villa Park might just save their season and the job of the manager.
A successful loan spell at Hull could result in a permanent move to the Tigers. The former Cork City player impressed for Ireland in the London friendly with Oman and was introduced to competitive action in the Faroe Islands. His physical presence would seem to make him a ‘Trap-type’ of player while Meyler’s contribution, three goals in nine games, to Hull’s continued push for promotion spells good news for Ireland.
Meyler’s team-mate on loan at Hull, Robbie Brady also made his Irish début in 2012 and saw World Cup qualifier action against Germany and the Faroes. The Dubliner was named on Man United’s official Champions League squad list but looks likely to extend his loan spell at the KC Stadium.
Doyle has had a tough time of things lately but he answered some of his critics in the wake of Ireland’s disastrous Euro performances by putting in strong shifts in the green shirt while his team-mates have floundered. He’s scored 5 goals for a struggling Wolverhampton side and his proven Premier League credentials are sure to have clubs sniffing around at the Wolves door. He also rescued Ireland in Kazakhstan and his work-rate has long been admired by top flight managers.