As I labored on the couch yesterday looking for some much needed entertainment, Sky Sports News presenters and pundits were excitedly talking up or imagining moves taking place. All we were missing was a crystal ball and some shady curtains and we would have been in the business for a local fair!
Yesterday signified the end of the transfer window in Europe. There were a number of standout deals but for the majority, it was dominated with professional football players looking to join clubs with the aim of securing game minutes for the upcoming season.
It was no different for many Republic of Ireland players who secured moves over recent weeks that will hopefully propel them to the next level. Hawkeye Sidekick reflects on some notable moves.
Notable Permanent Moves
James McCarthy secured his move back to Glasgow Celtic from Crystal Palace. A player who has struggled for fitness, this new opportunity is a must take. McCarthy under a new club manager should revel in the Parkhead surroundings.
Liam Scales’ permanent move to Glasgow Celtic from Shamrock Rovers was the marquee deal domestically. The defender is well regarded, versatility in filling central and full back roles. The hope is that he can press for a defensive first team spot soon given the Celtic defensive issues exposed early this term.
Michael Obafemi got his permanent move away from Southampton and joins Swansea City in a three year deal. An interesting move. Swansea City style of football should provide plenty of opportunities for the striker but whether Obafemi impresses management early remains to be seen.
Notable Loan Moves
Ryan Johansson is a player that has pledged his allegiance to Republic of Ireland. Johansson will play his football with Fortuna Sittard in the Netherlands. Technical excellent, the player now needs quality minutes and Eredivisie will be a superb league to learn and develop his career further hopefully to benefit the national side long term.
Jayson Molumby’s exile from Brighton and Hove Albion has ended with a season long loan deal to West Bromwich Albion. A superb move for the player given the start that the Baggies have had to the EFL SkyBet Championship season. A key season here for Molumby and he could be locked on for EPL football next season.
Conor Masterson is a player who I admire. After his move from Liverpool to QPR last term comes news that the Kildare native will play his football with Cambridge United in League One. A talented defender but needs fitness and game minutes to progress and get back on the QPR radar again.
Nathan Collins’ move from Stoke City to Burnley which is a superb move to the player and senior national side. First team opportunities are there for Collins if he is good enough given the head coach at Burnley who will pick on form over reputation. A massive opportunity for Collins to embrace here given the transfer over the summer.
Lee O’Connor returns to Tranmere Rovers on loan for the rest of the season which must raise questions on his long term Glasgow Celtic future. A key season to continue getting game minutes in a club where O’Connor is familiar with. The aim is to secure a long term contract outside of Parkhead next season.
Conor Coventry joins the sizeable Irish contingent at Peterborough after signing a season long loan deal. I like this deal on a number of levels. Coventry needs game minutes at senior level. He is well regarded with West Ham United and Peterborough played a nice brand of football. This should be a super fit for all parties. Coventry hopefully gets the game time to develop and push on for West Ham United first team opportunities next term.
Harry Arter returns to his first club Charlton on loan for the rest of the 2021/22 season. An expected move given his stuggles at Nottingham Forest. Arter will provide experience for Charlton who have had a mixed start to the League One season. In my view, his Republic of Ireland squad appearances are numbered but a player who has put his hand up for selection throughout.
Given his international allegiance predicament, Mipo Odubeko has lit up the West Ham United U23 side with a hat-trick over Arsenal on their opening game of the season. West Ham United and player agreed a two year extension to his contract with West Ham before being loaned out to Huddersfield Town. An interesting move. Will Odubeko get opportunities for the Terriers?
Players to monitor
Barry Cotter returns to Shamrock Rovers. I have seen his guy in action with Limerick FC when he was a teenager. An incredible player but Ipswich Town did not go according to plan for either the player or club in recent seasons.
The hope is that Cotter will regroup, get the game time required and relaunch his career which is similar to Barry Coffey as he has joined Cork City from Glasgow Celtic in recent weeks.
Two young players who still have massive potential and talent to share on the footballing stage. Check out these guys soon at a SSE Airtricity league fixture soon!