Football

Irish Players That Moved (And Those That Didn't) In The January Transfer Window

Irish Players That Moved (And Those That Didn't) In The January Transfer Window

The January transfer window is now is the books, with teams making their final plays for the remainder of the season.

This period is also an opportunity, for players to show their worth or to prove the doubters wrong.

At the start of the transfer window, we pinpointed five Irish players that needed to a move this January as a matter of urgency. Some did, whereas mitigating circumstances got in the way of others.

Here are the Irish players that got moves during the January transfer window:

Shane Long (to Bournemouth, loan)

The elder statesman of this list at 34 years of age, Long's career in the top flight of English football may be over, with this move to promotion chasing Bournemouth the first time the Tipperary native  has played in the Championship for nearly ten years.

This season, Long has seen his game time limited under Ralph Hasenhuttl, making just one start in the Premier League. With this move, Long joins a team that are in the playoff hunt, but need to replace the goals of Joshua King, who left them for Everton.

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Also, continued game time will give Long the opportunity to impress Stephen Kenny ahead of the World Cup qualifiers in March.

Troy Parrott (to Ipswich Town, loan)

Irish players January

Spurs loanee Troy Parrott joins Ipswich Town on loan having spent the first half of the season on the books at Championship side Millwall.

Parrott was supposed to be the key factor in Millwall making a push at the playoffs this season, but injuries, a lack of consistency and being played out of position have meant that the Dubliner's parent club have sent him to another club, this time Ipswich Town in League One.

Another club that are struggling to score goals, Parrott could find his feet in a lower division. Also, Ipswich's Irish contingency could help Parrott settle in, with Ireland underage teammates Mark McGuinness and Aaron Drinan already at Portman Road.

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Conor Hourihane (to Swansea City, loan)

Another player which has found Premier League game time hard to come by this season, Conor Hourihane has looked a different player since joining Swansea City at the start of the month.

Two goals in two matches, including this absolute peach against Rotherham, has Swansea City fans purring about the on loan Aston Villa midfielder.

If he continues this form for the remainder of the season, the Cork man could lead Swansea back to the Premier League and be a lock for Stephen Kenny's Ireland side.

Greg Cunningham (to Preston North End, loan)

Greg Cunningham is seemingly a forgotten man, with injuries ravaging the Galway left-back's career over the last few seasons. A move to Cardiff City in 2018 was supposed to be the catalyst for an extended run in the Premier League, however that didn't turn out to be the case.

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Cunningham is back at Preston North End and will look to return to the form which saw him on the periphery of the Ireland squad and worth a multi-million pound transfer fee. With Preston looking for defensive reinforcements, Cunningham could be the right man for the job.

Jayson Molumby (to Preston North End, loan)

Jayson Molumby and Preston North End seemed like a match made in heaven, with both parties needing exactly what the other can give.

Molumby seems to already be a hit at Deepdale, with his tenacity already impressing manager Alex Neil to the point where the Scot is investigating the possibility of making Molumby's stay permanent.

Regardless, the move was essential for Molumby and for Ireland, with the midfielder not getting a look in at Brighton, and it already seems to be paying dividends.

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Mark Travers (to Swindon Town)

Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers was earmarked, alongside Molumby, in our early January article about players needing a move.

This season, Travers found it difficult to dislodge Asmir Begovic as Bournemouth's number one, but thankfully, John Sheridan at Swindon threw the Kildare keeper a lifeline. Thus far, Travers has performed admirably in The Robins goal, but his side will need better defensive solidity if they're to avoid the drop.

Shamrock Rovers Midfielders 

Irish Players Transfer

Two of the League of Ireland's best midfielders have left home for pastures new, with both coming from the Shamrock Rovers engine room. At the start of the transfer window, Jack Byrne made the move to Cyprus to join Mick McCarthy at APOEL.

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Within a few days, Mick had been sacked and Jack was the last Irishman standing. However, the Dubliner has come out fighting and has vowed to make his Mediterranean adventure a success.

His midfield partner Aaron McEneff was a last minute departure from Tallaght Stadium, with the Derry native joining Scottish Championship side Hearts. Although in the second tier of Scottish football, Hearts are expected to get promoted and immediately challenge for a top-six spot in next season's Scottish Premiership.

League One Centre-Backs

This January saw a host of young Irish centre-backs make the move to League One.

Former Bohs man Warren O'Hora made his spell at MK Dons a permanent one, with the side paying O'Hora's parent club Brighton over £200k for his services.

Elsewhere, St Patrick's Athletic's 2020 Young Player of the Year Luke McNally made the move to Oxford United for an undisclosed fee. The Meath man's contract runs until 2024.

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In the loan market, former Liverpool defender Conor Masterson joined fellow Irishman Mark Travers on loan at Swindon Town. Masterson managed to break into the QPR first team last season but has found first team opportunities hard to come by at Loftus Road this season.

And the Irish players that didn't get moves during the January transfer window:

Luca Connell

Luca Connell arrived at Celtic Park from Bolton Wanderers amid much fanfare, yet the versatile midfielder has yet to register any first team minutes since his arrival in 2019.

This January marked the perfect opportunity for Connell to register some first-team action away from Celtic, with another of the club's Irish contingent, Barry Coffey, moving on loan to Cliftonville.

However, Connell hasn't been afforded a chance to showcase his talents in the Celtic first team. Perhaps, as Celtic's season spirals further and further, Connell may be afforded an opportunity to show what he can do. If he isn't, he may need to find another club this summer to kickstart his career.

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Michael Obafemi

transfer window

By the time January came around, Michael Obafemi had played in just one Premier League game this season.

There were rumours that Southampton and Swansea were in advanced talks with regard to a loan deal for Obafemi, however, a significant muscle injury meant that surgery was required.

We're unsure when Obafemi will be back fit, but it looks like a loan move in the summer could be the best course of action for the Ireland striker.

Conor Coventry

Often the unsung hero in the Ireland u21 midfield alongside Jayson Molumby, Conor Coventry has been around the West Ham first team for three seasons and has yet to make a Premier League appearance.

His loan spell at Lincoln City last season was curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic, and with West Ham flying high this season, it doesn't seem as though there's a route into first-team football for Coventry this season.

Coventry was injured but had hoped to go out on loan this January, now, the West Ham u23 captain will have to wait until the summer for a move.

SEE ALSO: Andre Villas Boas Offers To Resign After Marseille Sign Celtic Player Against His Wishes

Andre Villas Boas

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