Irish manager Martin O’Neill has confirmed that Dundalk standout Michael Duffy has decided to declare for the Republic over Northern Ireland.
Duffy who has been one of the domestic double winning Dundalk side’s finest players throughout the season has lined out for both the Republic and Northern Ireland at underage level and had also previously been called up to the North’s senior side by Michael O’Neill in 2016.
Speaking during the announcement of his provisional Irish squad ahead of the international games with Northern Ireland and Denmark, O’Neill confirmed to the media that Duffy had chosen Ireland.
“Young Duffy is hopefully coming through we’ve the paperwork there and he’s chosen to play for us which is great and I think he’s an exceptionally talented player.”
The 24-year old however was not included in O’Neill 36 man provisional squad as Ireland are still waiting on the necessary paperwork required to confirm Duffy’s switch.
Duffy was an integral part of Dundalk’s outstanding campaign with the former Celtic man bagging 13 goals and a nomination for PFAI Premier Division Player of the Year as Stephen Kenny’s men went on to complete the domestic double
Despite some in the footballing world pointing to O’Neill’s apparent reluctance to call up players from the League of Ireland, the Irish manager is clearly a fan of Duffy and will likely include him in future squads once he is eligible.
“Michael Duffy is as skilful as any player you’re likely to see playing in the League of Ireland, he’s got really good ability so it would be nice to see him coming through and incorporating him.”
Duffy would unquestionably be an excellent addition to the Irish setup given his exceptional talent and skill level and would add a spark that many feel this Irish side is currently so desperately lacking.
Regardless of the lack of domestic talent involved O’Neill did include four young uncapped players in his side for the first time amidst calls for an injection of youth.
Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Keller, Hearts defender Jimmy Dunne, Rotherham midfielder Ryan Manning and Southampton forward Michael Obafemi have all been included in the squad for the first time.