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Ireland's Euro 2016 Squad Is As Good As Set After The End Of The Transfer Window

Ireland's Euro 2016 Squad Is As Good As Set After The End Of The Transfer Window
By Gary Reilly Updated

A couple of weeks ago, we laid out the ideal transfer scenarios for Ireland's Euro 2016 squad. For all the fun of beating Germany and getting past Bosnia, the reality of the situation is that we still don't have enough players playing week in week out in the Premier League.

Particularly outside our starting eleven, there were quite a few players heading into January who could have done their Euro 2016 prospects the world of good by sorting out a loan move or just cutting ties altogether. Heading in to the window, Martin O'Neill made it clear that he wanted his players playing regular football.

Fast forward a month and, it must be said, not a whole lot happened in that regard.

The Losers 

Darron Gibson 

When it became clear that there was no Premier League club ready to give Darron Gibson a second chance, Martin O'Neill might as well have just crossed the Everton man's name of of the big blackboard that we can only assume hangs in his house.

With at least four players ahead of him in Everton's central midfield pecking order, the reality of the situation is that Gibson will be lucky to get a cumulative total of ninety Premier League minutes between now and May. He was already looking like a long shot to make the final 23 man squad. Barring injury, that's simply not happening now.

Marc Wilson


By no means a transfer window loser to the extent of Gibson, Wilson is nonetheless on the edge of things when it comes to Martin O'Neill's defensive options. He does a job across the back four but you could argue that, even before his season was as good as ended by a nasty injury, he really could have done with a move away from Stoke if he wanted to push for a starting place alongside John O'Shea.

Out for up to three months with medial ligament damage, Wilson will likely go to Euro 2016 as a utility option at the back but, if he was playing regular first team football in the Premier League, or even at the top of the Championship, there's quite a few people who would have him in the starting XI ahead of Richard Keogh. Nonetheless, no move was forthcoming and Wilson will remain back up option (at best) when June rolls around.

Alan Judge


This is a tough one because, with Gibson's failure to secure a move, Judge conceivably moves up the ladder in terms of Ireland's midfield options. However, it could have been much better.

Brentford have stagnated significantly in recent months. At 27, Judge is in his prime and he really could have done with a move to the likes of Sheffield Wednesday or Burnley. Brentford had every right to hold out for their valuation but if Judge had managed to make the move to a promotion challenging side, it could have done him the world of good.

As things stand. He'll continue to impress for Brentford but they'll more than likely stick around mid-table. He'll be given a chance by O'Neill in the March friendlies but without making any real waves near the top of the Championship, it's unlikely he'll be able to do enough to dislodge the likes of Harry Arter and David Meyler from the final squad.


Wes Hoolahan

A tenuous 'loser' at best. However, competition for places at Carrow Road has heated up significantly over the past month. Hoolahan's quality will always shine through but the truth of the matter is that in a relegation scrap, he can be seen as something of a luxury.

The purists may say that ability should never be seen as a luxury but, in terms of defending form the front, Steven Naismith offers Norwich an awful lot more than the Dubliner. Naismith's arrival means that the possibility of Hoolahan being rested for tricky away games has increased significantly. The reaction of large number of Norwich fans to Naismith's arrival said quite a lot about what Hoolahan can expect over the next couple of months.


The odd rest here or there ahead of Euro 2016 may not be the worst but if a situation develops whereby Naismith becomes Alex Neil's preferred number 10, Hoolahan could conceivably see his gametime cut significantly between now and the end of the season.

The Winners

Aiden McGeady

Pack your bags Aiden, you're going to France, via Sheffield.


The obvious candidate in this category, McGeady was the one player who really needed to secure a move. It may have taken a while and it may have meant dropping down to the Championship but he's headed for Sheffield Wednesday and Martin O'Neill must be delighted.

It's unlikely to be a move that will earn him an immediate recall to the Ireland starting XI but it will be enough to ensure that he gets a spot on the plane as the wildcard option off the bench. He may not be everyone's favourite player but McGeady's move to Wednesday is a significant benefit to Ireland. For all his frustrating moments, we'd miss that little something extra that he brings if he had missed out on a move away from Everton.

Yet To Be Decided 

Shay Given


The Ireland goalkeeper has confirmed that he is interested in going out on loan from Stoke if it will mean he puts himself in the frame to regain his spot between the sticks at Euro 2016. We'd suggest that even if he doesn't get that move in the emergency loan window, he'll still be heading to France but more than likely behind both Randolph and Elliot in the pecking order.

All in all, the ins and outs of the transfer window means that we're not expecting too much change from the last time we picked our squad for France. We'd love to see Shane Duffy being given a chance to impress and light a fire under the likes of Ciaran Clark and Richard Keogh but other than that, there's not a whole lot that can be done with the defence.

In midfield, McGeady has secured his spot while the only real difference is that Alan Judge is now the only logical alternative central midfielder. As well as he's playing for Brentford however, it's going to take an awful lot to dislodge either Arter or Meyler.

As for the striker, no amount of transfer comings and goings was ever likely to disrupt O'Neill's selection. The four that were always likely to go remain the same and, barring injury, that won't be changing.

See also: The Transfer Window Is Closed But Shay Given Could Still Be On The Move

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