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Dublin: 18 °C Monday 23 July, 2018

4 Irish players we've got high hopes for at Premier League clubs

Sean Scannell of newly-promoted Huddersfield Town and Burnley defender Kevin Long both feature.

WITH THE RETURN of the Premier League just two days away now, we take a look at the Irish players who will be hoping to become regular fixtures in their respective teams in the near future. 

Sean Scannell – Huddersfield Town

Croydon-born Sean Scannell joined Crystal Palace as a youngster and made his senior debut at the age of 17 back in December 2007. There were high hopes that the winger could kick on and become a full Ireland international, but despite lining out for the Boys in Green at B and U21 level, he hasn’t done enough in recent years to warrant inclusion.

Accrington Stanley v Huddersfield Town - Pre-Season Friendly - The Wham Stadium Source: PA Archive/PA Images

However, at 26, Scannell is finally set to become a Premier League player after earning promotion via the play-offs with Huddersfield Town. He endured an injury-ravaged season last year but has featured in the Terriers’ pre-season games and scored a late equaliser against Stuttgart last week.

Scannell is unlikely to be an automatic starter for David Wagner’s side from the off but he has an opportunity to force his way into the team. The first game of the season sees his current club face his former employers this Saturday.

Kevin Long  - Burnley

Dogged by injuries in recent years, Kevin Long enjoyed an incredible end to last season for both club and country. The Cork defender completed 90 minutes in Burnley’s three final league games before making his senior Ireland debut against Mexico during the trip to the US.

He then earned his first competitive cap in the 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw with Austria in Dublin.

Burnley v Celta Vigo - Pre-Season Friendly - Turf Moor Source: Richard Sellers

The 26-year-old has been rewarded by the Clarets with a new contract and, with Michael Keane sold to Everton, it could open the door for more game-time under Sean Dyche.

Dara O’Shea – West Brom

Dubliner Dara O’Shea is still just 18 years of age, but the West Brom defender has clearly been impressing manager Tony Pulis as he was called into their pre-season squad.

Walsall v West Bromwich Albion - Pre-Season Friendly - Bescot Stadium Source: Martin Rickett

The Ireland underage international, who scored this stunner for the Baggies’ U18s last year, may have to wait for his chance in the Premier League but he’s got time on his side. One to watch out for.

Tyreke Wilson – Manchester City

Former Cherry Orchard schoolboy Tyreke Wilson is one of several young Manchester City players tipped for great things.

Aston Villa Under 18's v Manchester City U18's - FA Youth Cup - Sixth Round - Villa Park Source: EMPICS Sport

Under Man City U18s head coach and former Ireland midfielder Lee Carsley, the left full-back helped the club reach the FA Youth Cup final, where they lost out to Chelsea back in April.

He was included in Pep Guardiola’s squad for pre-season but, with £130 million spent on full-backs this summer, Wilson’s best hope of football in the coming years will almost certainly come via loan spells or a permanent move elsewhere.

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Ben Blake

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