From the bustling streets of Dublin to the quiet countryside towns, Irish players have left a mark on the world of international football. From Robbie Keane to Damien Duff, the annals of the king of sports have recorded top Irish footballers, each a symbol of unwavering dedication and a source of national pride.
Now, in turn, a new generation of players continues to the reputation of Irish football. Here are the most valuable Irish players who are poised to carry the torch forward.
A native of Cork., Kelleher graduated from Liverpool’s youth academy in 2019 and joined the first team in the same year. While he didn’t have much opportunity to shine – Becker is in the spotlight – he did make his presence felt in the 2022 EFL Cup final where he scored the decisive penalty against Chelsea.
According to Transfermarkt, Kelleher has a market value of EUR 12 million.
A West Ham graduate, Cullen stayed in East London for most of his career. Or at least he did on paper, because he spent most of his five seasons with the Hammers on loans. He left England for Belgium in 2020, playing two seasons with Anderlecht, and earning the club’s (and the fans’) respect in the process. In 2022, he returned to England, joining Burnley FC as a defensive midfielder.
Josh Cullen is currently worth EUR 13 million.
Bazunu’s career at the Shamrock Rovers was short – he left the club after half a dozen apps, including two in the Europa League. He joined Man City in 2019 but spent most of his time there on loan before signing a five-year contract with Southampton.
The 21-year-old goalkeeper has a “Premier League Save of the Month” and 16 national team apps under his belt, and a market value of EUR 15 million.
Collins started his career at Cherry Orchard, like his father and uncle before him, moving on to Stoke City, and spending three years as a youth, and two seasons as a senior there. His next stop was Burnley for a season, and the Wolves for one more. This year, he ended up at Brentford – the Bees paid £23m (circa EUR 26.7 million) to have him.
He may be just 18, but he’s already the stuff of legends. Ferguson grew out of St Kevin’s Boys to join the Bohemians, signing his first professional contract with the club in 2019 – at the age of 14, becoming the club’s youngest player to join the senior team. By age 17, he already left – he currently plays with Brighton & Hove Albion as a striker, and he has been playing there ever since.
According to Transfermarkt, Ferguson has a market value of EUR 30 million. And he just signed a fresh contract with Brighton, making Falmer Stadium his home for the coming years.
In the realm of European football, Irish players shine bright. A new generation, like Kelleher, Cullen, Bazunu, Collins, and Ferguson, stands ready to carry the legacy. Their journey, a blend of dedication and talent, adds an exciting twist to the soccer bet we place on their future.