Jim Crawford ‘not surprised’ as England approach Tom Cannon

Jim Crawford ‘not surprised’ as England approach Tom Cannon

Ireland under-21 striker Tom Cannon has been approached by England.

Ireland under-21 striker Tom Cannon is mulling over his international future after being approached by the English FA.

Cannon, who scored eight goals on loan at Preston from Everton last season, made his Ireland under-21 against Iceland in March.

The Liverpool-born attacker is a relative newcomer to the Ireland underage scene after missing out on potential squads because of the Covid-19 break.

He did however, feature for the Ireland under-20s against the Ireland amateurs in 2022 and looked primed to be a star player in the upcoming Ireland under-21 campaign.

A first team call-up was not out of the question either. Senior manager Stephen Kenny invited him to a training camp in Bristol last month but he ruled himself out with tonsillitis.

As there is a month-long break between the end of the Championship season and Ireland’s upcoming qualifier against Greece, attending that camp was important for match sharpness in the eyes of the Irish coaching team.

Cannon’s omission from the final squad therefore came as no real surprise, with Kenny saying he will link up with the Ireland under-21 squad.

England make Tom Cannon approach

That, however, never came to fruition and when the squad was shared on Tuesday, the picture became more clear – England had made an approach and Cannon needed time to reflect.

“I’m not surprised,” explained Ireland under-21 manager Jim Crawford.

“He went through a real purple patch with Preston at the end of the season.

“Tom is a very good player, what we have here with the Republic of Ireland, is a real sort of concrete pathway with players.

“Tom, I always knew that he was going to attract attention, but it’s now up to himself what he wants to do.

“For me, there are some countries that are very aggressive in recruiting players, and how many of those players are not playing with the senior team?”

Crawford reacts to Tom Cannon news.

“I spoke to Tom before this camp, solely about this camp. I didn’t mention the knowledge that I knew that there was another nation interested.

“I was just purely concentrating on Tom and how he was feeling since his bout of tonsillitis, that was the conversation we had.

“He wasn’t ready to play games here, that in itself is a silver lining and gives somebody else the opportunity to come in and play for the U-21s and stake a claim for a place in September.”