Football

5 Irish Players That Need A Move This Month

5 Irish Players That Need A Move This Month

The calendars have now flipped to January, with many hoping that a new year will bring with it new beginnings. That is also true in football, with plenty of players hoping to switch clubs during the winter transfer window.

There is likely to be a number of Irish players amongst that bunch. We have already seen Aaron Connolly secure a loan switch to Middlesbrough, but who else could join him in the weeks ahead?

Here are five contenders.

Irish Players That Need A Move This Month

Mipo Odubeko (West Ham)

Mipo Odubeko is a player of huge potential. A prolific goalscorer in the youth ranks at Manchester United, he was highly sought after in the summer of 2019 when his contract ran out, ultimately opting for a move to West Ham.

The striker would go on to make a couple of first team appearances at the club, before joining Huddersfield on loan last summer. While hopes were high that he would thrive in the Championship, the 19-year old failed to make much of an impact.

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Odubeko would play a total of 106 minutes of league football across the first half of the season, with all six appearances coming from the bench. Having featured only twice since September, it was announced this morning that his loan deal had been cut short.

Despite his first real experience in senior football going badly, Odubeko should look to go out on loan again as soon as possible. He is at a stage in his career where regular minutes are a priority, something that seems unlikely at West Ham in the coming months.

Of course, his international future is also very much up in the air. The player has turned down a number of recent call-ups to Ireland underage squads, with Nigeria thought to be keen to bring him on board.

Regardless of who he chooses to represent on that stage in the future, he needs to be playing regular senior football as soon as possible.

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Jason Knight (Derby County)

Jason Knight is playing a lot of minutes at Derby County, something that will be a huge bonus in his development. The issue is that he has outgrown a club who are mired in a Championship relegation scrap and is likely to be in League One next season.

The Dubliner is certain to leave the club if that is the case, although a move this month would be beneficial. There is no shortage on interest in his services, with the likes of Everton and Leeds United linked in recent weeks.

Derby boss Wayne Rooney has insisted that the 19-year old will not be sold this month, although the club's perilous financial situation means that such a decision could be taken out of his hands if a sizeable offer comes in.

Knight has impressed during his appearances at senior international level so far, with a move to the Premier League likely to go a long way to ensuring that he becomes a permanent fixture in the starting XI under Stephen Kenny in 2022.

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It would certainly be interesting to see how he would fare in the English top flight.

Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle United)

Jeff Hendrick may have experienced somewhat of a renaissance with Ireland over the second half of 2021, but that has not translated to more playing time at club level.

Despite Newcastle's struggles this season, the 29-year old has played ten minutes of Premier League football since the start of October. That situation is unlikely to improve as the club make some new signings over the course of the next few weeks.

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Hendrick has proven in recent times that is capable of excelling when placed in a role that compliments his obvious talents. He should look to move on this month, especially when you consider that he hasn't exactly been embraced by Newcastle fans.

While any interest from AC Milan has likely long gone, a loan move to one of the club competing at the top end of the Championship (such as Bournemouth, Fulham, or Blackburn Rovers) could be what is needed to get his club career back on track. Or perhaps a return to Burnley would all parties?

Cyrus Christie (Fulham)

Cyrus Christie is all but certain to leave Fulham this month.

Despite proving over the years that he is a very dependable Championship right back, he has not featured on a single occasion in the division this season.

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He has already been linked with moves to Blackburn Rovers and Cardiff City in January, and while they are two sides at differing ends of the division, you'd imagine the 29-year old will be keen to leave Craven Cottage as soon as possible.

Christie has featured for Ireland on a number of occasions under Stephen Kenny and could well have a place in the squad moving forward despite the presence of Matt Doherty and Seamus Coleman if he is playing regularly.

 

Joshua Kayode (Rotherham United)

Kayode was very impressive on loan at Carlisle last year, although he has found playing time a bit more difficult to come by with Rotherham in League One this season. The striker hasn't started a game since August and has failed to even come off the bench more often than not in recent times.

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Kayode has shown that he is capable of scoring goals in senior football, meaning there should be no shortage of interested parties were he to leave on loan this month.

Considering he is likely to play a sizeable part in the remainder of Ireland's U21 Euro qualifying campaign, Jim Crawford would likely be keen to see him get more minutes under his belt in the months ahead.

 

Honourable mentions

Matt Doherty - It would be tempting to get Doherty out of Spurs considering his lack of playing time, but the defender has been given some opportunities in recent weeks. It would also be interesting to see what he could pick up from another few months of coaching under Antonio Conte, who could yet see Doherty as part of his plans moving forward.

Harry Arter - On loan from Nottingham Forest, Arter has hardly featured for Charlton Athletic this season. The exact reason for that is unclear, although he has not even been making the bench in recent months. Another loan move could be a better option, although he could yet feature more in the second half of the season.

Ryan Cassidy - Now 20 years old Ryan Cassidy, still finds himself in the Watford youth ranks after he returned from his spell at Accrington Stanley last year. He is another player that could look to leave on loan this month, although he has excelled in Watford's U23 side in recent times.

SEE ALSO: Marca Identify Gavin Bazunu As 'Talent Set To Explode' In 2022

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Gary Connaughton

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