Since becoming boss of the Rep Of Ireland, Mick McCarthy has wasted little time contacting players with Irish connections. According to reports, he had a successful meeting with rising star Declan Rice. The West Ham wonderkid is still pondering his international future. The 19-year-old is at the centre of a tug of war between Ireland and England.
Another player Mick is pursuing is Southampton winger Nathan Redmond. The 24-year-old has an Irish mother but chose England a number of years ago. The problem for the Southampton player is, that he has only managed to feature once for the English and that was in a friendly. Now many players born and raised in England with Irish blood have gone on and indeed starred for Ireland in the past. However those players had intentions, their heart seemed set on playing for Ireland.
No doubt that Redmond would add quality to the Irish side. Plus anyone who gives 100% to the Irish cause will always get support from the fans. The cynic in me would suggest, that Redmond has essentially waved the white flag on his English dream. Gareth Southgate’s troops have talent such as Sterling, Lingard, Rashford, Loftus-Cheek, Sancho are all ahead of him in the English pecking order. Likely a few more players are too.
The motivation now for Redmond may be the fact that any international football is better than none. If Redmond declines the advances of Mick, he is essentially waving goodbye to any international career. However, a decision to choose to play for Ireland would simply be selfish and not for any great love for the country.
Nothing To Lose
From Ireland’s point of view you could argue what have they got to lose? If Redmond performs then nobody will care about such issues. If he fails to perform then it is likely he won’t be featuring much anyway. The Republic does have some young talent coming through the ranks. McCarthy is only in charge for one campaign and will clearly look for quick fixes. Development will not be a priority on his list.
It will not be long until March arrives. By this time we will have a clear picture regarding the make-up of the Irish squad. Will Redmond be part of it? McCarthy certainly has skills of persuasion. Perhaps the bigger question is, can the Barnsley man secure the return of Declan Rice? If he secures the London born player the pursuit of Nathan Redmond becomes a side issue.