Irish midfielder Luca Connell has hinted that he will not find himself following the path of Declan Rice and Jack Grealish in making the switch to England, despite the Three Lions’ reported interest in the 18-year old.
Connell was a surprise inclusion in Mick McCarthy’s squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Denmark and Gibraltar as the side prepare for the two games with a training camp in Portugal.
The 18-year old is from Liverpool but is eligible to play for the Boys in Green through his grandparents and has been with the Irish ranks since U16s level.
Speaking to the media, in quotes reported by the Irish Times, Connell joked that if he did switch allegiances, his grandmother wouldn’t be very pleased.
“She wouldn’t speak to me if that happened,” said Connell.
“My mum’s parents are both from Dublin and my Nan is still with us, living in Liverpool.
“The FAI scout Gerry Murphy got me first involved with the Ireland Under-16s and here I am in the senior squad.
“I’ve read the speculation [about England] but haven’t had any direct contact.
“I wouldn’t hold back from the chance to play for Ireland in the qualifiers because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If you turn that turn, not just the gaffer, but the team wouldn’t be happy with you.”
Ireland and McCarthy will certainly be keen to avoid another repeat of the long-winded saga involving Rice and England which dragged out throughout the last six months.
McCarthy can nail the talented Bolton midfielder down should he decide to cap him in either of the two upcoming games, with the home clash with Gibraltar seemingly the perfect opportunity.
“I’m happy where I am at the minute,” was his response to the notion of an invite being tabled by the England manager. “I’ll go and see what happens over the next few months.”
Connell will also likely find himself on the way out of a struggling Bolton Wanderers, whom he played 12 times for in the Championship last season, with Rangers and Leeds reportedly leading the race for the midfielder’s signature.