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Ireland Join Spurs In Making A Move For One Of English Football's Hottest Properties

Ireland Join Spurs In Making A Move For One Of English Football's Hottest Properties
By Gary Reilly
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Jack Grealish, Dan Crowley and Marcus Agyei-Tabi. There's a bit of a trend developing when it comes to Ireland's hopes of convincing English born talent to represent the boys in green. Get them when they're young, introduce them to international football and hope that some kind of allegiance develops to the extent that we can slap a senior cap on their head.

It's potentially a lucrative path to follow but it hasn't been particularly fruitful in recent months. Grealish has been without a doubt the most high profile example of why that tactic doesn't work particularly well but nonetheless, it's something that's unlikely to change anytime soon.

The latest name to be added to the FAI's wishlist is Coventry's much in demand attacking midfielder, James Maddison. The 19 year old has lit up the Ricoh Arena this season having been given the number 10 jersey by Tony Mowbray and it's looking incredibly likely that he'll be on the way to the Premier League with Spurs reportedly leading the chase.

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But he's yet to receive any attention from the England youth setup and the FAI have recently learned that he's eligible to represent Ireland through a grandparent and, according to Neil O'Riordan in today's Irish Sun, they are now 'hoping he will opt to play in a green shirt'.

Spurs missed out on a deal for Maddison last summer. However, his stock has only risen since then with ten League One appearances and two goals further convincing the club's scouting department that he could be the next relative bargain from the Football League. Much like the deal that saw Dele Alli head to White Hart Lane from MK Dons, it is thought that Spurs could sign Maddison during this transfer window before loaning him back to Coventry for the rest of the season.

As for FAI's hopes of convincing Maddison to represent Ireland, it's anyone's guess. Although born in Coventry, he has never been called up to an England underage squad. Having said that however, with a Premier League move becoming increasingly possible, it's unlikely they'll allow Ireland to make a move for Maddison without putting up a fight.

We've gone in depth before about how although it's not necessarily a bad thing that Ireland go after English born players, it's far from ideal that it becomes a necessity. If Maddison goes on to become an Irish hero, wonderful. If not, blame the FAI for going after him. Such is international football.

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See also: Wes Hoolahan And The Figures Which Demonstrate The Sorry State Of Irish Football

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