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The First Big Irish Transfer Saga Of The Window Has Kicked Off In Earnest

The First Big Irish Transfer Saga Of The Window Has Kicked Off In Earnest
By Gary Reilly
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It's fair to say that it's a bit of a rarity for clubs to be climbing over themselves to sign up an Irish player during the transfer window. So, when it does happen, we always sit up and take notice. Case in point, Eoin Doyle's move from Chesterfield this time last year.

The Dubliner was scoring for fun in League 1 and it took and entire month of to-ing and fro-ing before it was decided that he'd join Cardiff. Unfortunately for Doyle his move to Wales hasn't gone entirely to plan and he's since been shipped out to Preston on loan. At 27, there's still plenty of time for the former Sligo man to get back to his best but, if given the same choice, perhaps he would have taken a different path during the transfer buzz this time last year.

And for Doyle last year, it seems we may be able to insert Alan Judge this year. The difference is that there may be even more on the line for Judge in the form of a Euro 2016 squad place. The Dubliner has been one of the Championship's top performers (if not the top performer) this season and his form for Brentford has quite a few clubs looking his way.

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Swansea and Bournemouth have reportedly been looking at Judge but the first confirmed offer for the playmaker has come from a rather more surprising source in the form of Sheffield Wednesday.

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Wednesday have cash to spend at the moment and they have been on the up for the past couple of seasons but you'd have to think that Judge would consider a move from Brentford to Wednesday as something of a sideways step. The Sheffield club sit seventh in the Championship table, three places above Brentford so it certainly wouldn't be bad move but, given his form this season, he may be looking for a step up.

If a Premier League move is not forthcoming in this window then you'd have to think that staying put at Brentford would be in his best interests as far as the Ireland squad is concerned. However, with Wednesday set to come back with another bid and Burnley also let their interest be made known, this is unlikely to be the last we hear of Judge over the coming few weeks.

A couple of months ago we took a look at the likely Ireland squad for Euro 2016. At the time, we had Judge as the best of the rest as far as the creative midfielders were concerned. 

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A battle with David Meyler and/or Harry Arter could be forthcoming over the coming months. With Arter really beginning to show what he can do in the Premier League, it may take a lot for Judge to push his way into the final 23 but a move away from Brentford may yet prove to be the catalyst he needs so we'll certainly watch this space.

See also: Time To Rethink Our Euro 2016 Squad Prediction After Latest MOTM Performance

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