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7 Irish Footballers That Need A January Move If They Want To Go To Euro 2016

Mikey Traynor
By Mikey Traynor
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Martin O'Neill typically picks his squads from a pool of around 40 players, who arrive for a quick assessment before the squad is cut down ahead of qualifiers, so we can expect to see a few lesser seen names in the friendlies that precede Ireland's return to the European Championships.

One thing that the manager has made very clear is that players who are not getting their game for the club that they play for will be overlooked for those who are playing week in, week out.

With exceptions unlikely to be granted for many players, apart from Darren Randolph who has proven his ability to perform for Ireland despite playing second fiddle in the goalkeeping situation at West Ham, here are seven Irish players who need to secure a move in order to get themselves on that plane.

Shay Given

At the start of the season many wondered if Shay Given would be Stoke City's number one goalkeeper following the sale of Asmir Begovic, but instead, Jack Butland has well and truly made the position his own.

While Shay will no doubt have his tournament experience and status amongst the squad in his favour, if he continues to warm the bench at Stoke then he could easily be left behind. Ireland will take three goalkeepers to France, you would have to think that Randolph and Elliot will go barring injury. A loan with an emergency recall clause could be exactly what Given needs to get match sharpness and keep Stoke covered.

Shay needs to play.


David Forde

David Forde has suffered for his loyalty to Millwall. After sticking with the Lions despite their relegation to League One, and has now lost his spot as their starting goalkeeper.

Forde was rock solid in his spell as Ireland's #1, so it's clear that a Championship club could do much worse than the Galway man, but he can't expect to go to France after a season on the bench in League One.


Stephen Ward

His inclusion in the starting lineup always seems to cause moans and groans among Irish fans, but Stephen Ward is trusted by Martin O'Neill and is one of very few Irish players comfortable at playing left-back.

Ward is in dire need of a move away from Burnley, where he struggles to find playing time, as there won't be a public outcry over his omission should O'Neill opt not to pick him.


Alec Pearce


Just one appearance for Derby this season, and that was in a League Cup game back in August.

Someone who always pops up in an Ireland squad, Pearce could well be omitted if he can't make more of an impact at club level before the end of the season.


Darron Gibson

It's clear that Gibbo needs a change of scenery, as it's just not working out for him at Everton. League Cup games and the odd substitute appearance are unlikely to be enough for the Derry man, as central midfield has become one of the more crowded positions in the Irish squad in recent times.

A drop in division could do Gibson the world of good. Clearly a skilled midfielder, his ability to bang one from distance hasn't been seen in an Ireland shirt yet, and he could be a useful sub to call on in France should we need a goal, but he won't make the plane unless he sees some more time on the pitch.


Aiden McGeady

This list was made for Aiden McGeady.

The sparkling form of Gerard Deulofeu has made the future of Ireland's step-over-loving winger increasingly bleak at Goodison Park, as McGeady also has to contend with Kevin Mirallas and Aaron Lennon for game time when everyone is fit.


Be it a loan, or a transfer, to the Championship, or even back to Celtic, Aiden needs to play. Martin O'Neill has said that he won't forget what McGeady did for the team in Georgia, and rightly so, but his hands will be tied if he doesn't see a minute between now and May.

Anthony Stokes

This one is easily the most likely to happen, as it is painfully clear that Anthony Stokes' time at Celtic is up.

There is a forward spot available on the plane to France, and if Stokes were to find a home in say the Championship and find some of his old goalscoring form, then he could well force himself into Martin O'Neill's plans.

This will be an interesting on to follow in the transfer window.

SEE ALSO: The Stupidly Early Ireland Squad Prediction For Euro 2016

SEE ALSO: Irish Midfielder Explains Why It's 'Easier To Get Into The England Squad'


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