Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you would have known about the biggest transfer story of the summer so far has finally concluded with Damien Duff finally put pen to paper for League of Ireland side, Shamrock Rovers. The LOI club have pulled off this major signing apparently ahead of South Dublin rivals, St. Patrick’s Athletic. ‘Duffer’ seemed to be very impressed with the training facilities and how modern Tallaght Stadium is, swaying the Ballyboden local to choose the Hoops over their bitter rivals.
Here are the 5 reasons why this transfer coup could seriously benefit the side in Dublin 24:
1) Experience – Damien brings a wealth of experience including notching 100 caps for the Republic of Ireland (Playing at World Cup 2002 and Euro 2012) while managing just under 400 Premier League games for the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea, Newcastle United and Fulham (Where he also played in the Europa League Final in 2010). The likes of young attacking duo of Mikey Drennan and Brandon Miele will certainly benefit from the 36 year old on and off the field.
2) The Draw – With this signing, there will certainly be a bigger crowd wanting to see the former Irish winger on a regular basis which will surely increase the average fan to go and view more LOI games. The more fans who will go to games, the more money will be generated in tickets sales and merchandise. Simple.
3) Quality – Even though the former Chelsea man is now 36 years old, there is no reason why he would not improve any side in the country. He was once bought by Chelsea for £17 million by Claudio Ranieri, has won two league titles and been a stalwart for the Irish team for over a decade. Even though he may have lost a yard of pace, his football brain will never decline with his passing, vision, first touch and awareness still being top of the range.
4) Squad Depth – At the moment, Keith Fahey is injured for Rovers and with his leadership qualities in midfield, he will be able to step in to the centre of that midfield and compete with the likes of former Irish compatriot, Stephen McPhail, Patrick Cregg and Ryan Brennan. Or else the man who scored at the 2002 World Cup in Japan against Saudi Arabia, might be utilised in his more natural position on the wing as cultured midfielder Sean O’Connor is still a long term absentee.
5) Donating Wages – To prove that Damien is a top professional and everything that he will do on and off the field will be exemplary to the younger players, raising the standards in training and being a great mentor. ‘Duffer’ is donating all of his wages to a charity of his choosing, proving, he just wants to play football for a local club in Dublin and entertain millions of his fans one last time.
There have been numerous big names who have joined our fantastic league over the past couple of seasons and Damien Duff is only the latest, the big question is, who will the newly crowned hero of Shamrock Rovers lay the path for? Richard Dunne perhaps?