With just one week to go until Ireland’s crucial World Cup play-off with Denmark, Martin O’Neill has been dealt a severe blow with the news that Sean Maguire is set to miss out.
The former Cork City striker has made a remarkable start to life with Preston North End, immediately working himself into the side and finding the net with regularity. This soon led to the Kilkenny native’s first Ireland cap against Moldova last month, and the trajectory of his rise had many believing that he should feature more prominently against Denmark.
This week, he played 90 minutes as Preston fell to a 2-0 loss to Aston Villa.
However, the Irish Independent are reporting that Maguire will now be out for three months, as he needs surgery on his hamstring.
This comes as a major blow to Ireland ahead of next week’s trip to Copenhagen and the return leg in the Aviva Stadium three days later.
With Jon Walters left out of the squad, the only experienced striking options remaining are Daryl Murphy and an out-of-form Shane Long.
This news comes as a setback to 23-year-old Maguire, who will be hoping to bounce back as soon as possible.