While much of the international focus has been on the transfer fates of an array of potential marquee signings such as Wayne Rooney, Diego Costa, Mesut Ozil and Gareth Bale, this summer’s transfer period was also quite revealing for the Republic of Ireland national team.
With some very important World Cup qualifiers on the horizon for Giovanni Trapattoni’s men on Saturday and next Tuesday there’s been a high amount of interest in the players involved in the set-up.
Having announced his squad for the upcoming matches against Sweden and Austria, Il Trap will certainly have had mixed feelings about where many of his players ended up following Monday’s transfer dealings.
On a positive note, an integral cog in Trapattoni’s invention, James McCarthy managed to secure a permanent move to England’s top flight on deadline day. Undeniably, Irish fans, as well as the player himself, are sure to be delighted with the news which saw the talented 22-year-old swap the Championship jersey of Wigan Athletic with the Premier League blue of Everton, as reported by Daniel McDonnell of the Irish Independent on Tuesday
The deal sees the F.A Cup winner link up with clever tactician Roberto Martinez once again which is sure to help the midfielder improve upon his game even more. In truth, the move is sure to benefit the Ireland team as he is sure to learn a few more tricks and ideas plying his trade week-in, week-out against the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal.
Of course, McCarthy’s signing with the Toffees wasn’t the only positive note for the Boys in Green.
As reported by the Telegraph on Monday, talismanic playmaker Stephen Ireland joins McCarthy in swapping jerseys as he completed a transfer to Stoke City. Despite continuing to roam in the international wilderness without much indication as to whether or not he wishes to return to duty, his season-long loan move can only be seen as a good one by Irish fans.
Should he receive a call-up – and should he accept – the 27-year-old would still, arguably, be fighting fit and raring to go. In truth, seeing the former Manchester City star in the green jersey once more still seems a tad fantastical, but it should certainly not be ruled out, particularly if his eagerness to seek regular first-team football in a World Cup season is anything to go by.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t all good news for Trapattoni and assistant manager Marco Tardelli.
Former Reading forward Shane Long was on the verge of an 11th hour move to Premier League outfit Hull City before the deal collapsed because, as detailed by the Mail Online on Monday, West Bromwich Albion pulled out.
This is bound to be the most infuriating deal for the group of talented Irish performers as Hull actually look quite a decent side so far this season.
Along with this, a move here would have enabled Long to join forces with fellow Irish squad members such as Robbie Brady, David Meyler and Paul McShane, which would certainly have helped to improve cohesion and adaptability in the Irish set-up.
Against supposed title contenders Man City, they could have taken an early lead if it weren’t for some indecision and lack of clinical finishing from Sone Aluko; Shane Long may well have rattled the net in his stead.
For now, at least until the January transfer window opens up, it looks as though the 26-year-old, who has bagged nine international goals to date will have to put up with life at Hawthornes.
Elsewhere, there was disappointment for another former Cork City goal-poacher, Kevin Doyle.
After Swansea supremo Michael Laudrup had expressed interest in the 29-year-old earlier in August, it looked as though he would be saved from the lowly third-tier of English football. Frustratingly, the move broke down, and he’ll have to help guide Kenny Jackett’s Wolverhampton Wanderers to promotion until January at least, when it’s hoped he’ll be rescued from his Football League slump.
Clearly, Doyle still has bags of potential, and his goal to games ratio would certainly benefit form playing alongside such talented players as Michu and Jonjo Shelvey.
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