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Five Players Who Could Bow Out From Ireland – And Five For The Next Campaign

That was heartbreaking…

The Republic of Ireland’s defeat left a bitter taste as Denmark progressed to the World Cup after the trouncing Dublin saw the Nordic nation progress to Russia 2018.

From an Irish point of view, all we can do is look ahead to future campaigns.

Here are five players who may not see the next campaign – and five players who will see the Irish through to Euro 2020 and beyond…

Time to say goodbye?

Glenn Whelan

Whelan has been a long-term servant to his country but this campaign has proven yet again that Ireland are a better side without him.

At 33, this may have been his last chance of featuring in another major tournament.

John O’Shea

One of Ireland’s most decorated players. Used sparingly, mainly down to his age. One of Ireland’s leading cap holders and will be sorely missed having been around the squad since 2001.

Jon Walters

Ireland’s warrior over the past several years. A late-comer to the international game with 14 goals a good return. Has struggled with injury and may want to focus on club commitments to prolong his career.

Wes Hoolahan

A man who should have more caps to his name and will go down as one of Ireland’s most underused player in history.

Rarely has he put a foot wrong, his only flaw was of no fault of his own, his age.

Daryl Murphy

Three goals in what could be his last campaign for Ireland. Should have been used more under Trappatoni but did himself proud when called upon.  His attritional game was effective but could have prevented Ireland keeping it on the floor.

_____

The Next Wave…

Sean Maguire

Arguably Ireland’s best available natural finisher and natural dribbler out of all of Ireland’s available strikers.

Is constantly improving and international level is the next step.

Liam Kelly

Many do not realise how good the Reading man is. Has deserved more recognition than being named in provisional squads and is the natural replacement for Wes Hoolahan and perhaps the better player.

Declan Rice

Mysteriously disappeared at West Ham in recent times despite some quality and mature performances.

A potential option in midfield or defence for the next campaign. Ireland’s answer to Eric Dier.

Eunan O’Kane

One of the older players on the list but the Leeds man has been one of Ireland’s best performers on the domestic front for the past two years. More energy and productivity on the ball then some of Ireland’s starters and could propel himself into the starting XI.

Josh Cullen

Probably a lesser known player but one who will no doubt make the step up soon. 21-year-old Cullen has over 50 first team appearances on loan away from West Ham and could join Declan Rice in the first team soon. Uses the ball well and has bite is the tackle, something Ireland lack.

Nick Menezes, Pundit Arena

SEE ALSO: MARTIN O’NEILL STORMS OFF AFTER TENSE INTERVIEW WITH TONY O’DONOGHUE

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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.