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Ireland Under-21 Goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara In Manchester United Europa League Squad

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23: (L-R) Goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, David De Gea and Kieran O'Hara look on during a Manchester United training session on the eve of their UEFA Europa League match against Feyenoord at Aon Training Complex on November 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Republic of Ireland Under-21 goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara has been named in the Manchester United squad to travel to Russia to take on Rostov in the Europa League, according to the Daily Mail.

United are due to take on last year’s Russian Premier League runners up on Thursday and O’Hara has been asked to step up to the plate as a backup. Joel Pereira and Dean Henderson are both out injured meaning that the Manchester-born goalkeeper will gain valuable experience from training with two internationals in David De Gea and Sergio Romero.

The 20-year-old declared for Ireland last year and has been part of Noel King’s Under-21 side recently. Having had several loan moves away from United, the stopper will be looking forward to the experience of training with the first team ahead of a huge European night.

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 23:  Kieran O'Hara of Morecambe in action during the Sky Bet League Two match between Northampton Town and Morecambe at Sixfields Stadium on January 23, 2016 in Northampton, England.  (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)
Kieran O’Hara in action for Morecambe (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images).

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O’Hara’s last loan spell was at Morecambe, where he made five appearances at the end of last year. The highly rated youngster qualifies for Ireland via his paternal grandparents, who both hail from Galway.

Darron Gibson and John O’Shea are the last Republic of Ireland internationals to represent the Red Devils in Europe and many Irish fans of the club will be glad to see O’Hara make the journey.

Robbie Brady departed United in 2013 without making a first team appearance and O’Hara, although very unlikely to replace De Gea any time soon, will hope to push his way up the pecking order as an understudy to the Spaniard.

Nick Menezes, Pundit Arena 

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Author: Nick Menezes

Nick is a soccer, GAA and rugby fanatic who has a worrying obsession with the Irish football team. His articles focus on Irish football and he also writes some light-hearted pieces, particularly quirky starting XIs.