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3 League of Ireland players who moved abroad in 2019 and 3 who could follow in 2020

Jack Byrne and others who could potentially make the switch.

Three players who went across the water…

1. Trevor Clarke

trevor-clarke Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Ireland U21 international Clarke left Shamrock Rovers to join Rotherham on a three-year deal in July. It is his second stint in England, having been on the books at Middlesbrough as a youngster. He has enjoyed a decent time since his latest move, featuring nine times in all competitions for the League One outfit.

2. Dylan Connolly

dylan-connolly-12102018 Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

A move that was confirmed all the way back on 3 January, Connolly left Dundalk to sign for AFC Wimbledon, having only joined the Lilywhites from Bray in 2017. He has since left to join League Two club Bradford City on a season-long loan, with the 24-year-old making 16 appearances for the promotion contenders so far this season.

3. Sean McLoughlin

sean-mcloughlin Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The promising centre-back left Cork City to join Championship club Hull during the summer. Just a week after signing, he then went on loan to Scottish Premiership club St Mirren. McLoughlin has played every minute of action for the team who are currently 10th in the table. The loan deal was always due to expire in January, and the 23-year-old today returned to his parent club.

Honourable mentions: Zachary Elbouzedi (Waterford to Lincoln City); Gavin Bazunu (Shamrock Rovers to Man City); Jimmy Keohane (Cork City to Rochdale).

Three who could follow…

1. Daniel Mandroiu

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daniel-mandroiu-celebrates-scoring Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

One of the most naturally talented players in the League of Ireland, 21-year-old attacking midfielder Daniel Mandroiu only joined Bohs in December 2018, after a little over four years in Brighton’s underage set-up. He immediately hit the ground running in the Premier Division, helping Bohs frequently punch above their weight and finish third in the table to qualify for Europe. The Dubliner clearly has the potential to thrive at a top English club, having lit up the Premier Division with 11 goals in 2019. Keith Long’s side will hope to keep hold of him for as long as possible though as they aim to sustain their excellent form in recent times.

2. Jack Byrne

jack-byrne Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

The PFAI Player of the Year and a key individual as Shamrock Rovers lifted the FAI Cup for the first time since 1987, Byrne’s first season in the League of Ireland couldn’t have gone too much better. Having made his Ireland senior debut in 2019, speculation intensified that he may find his way back to Britain sooner rather than later. The midfielder has repeatedly insisted he is happy with the Hoops, though if he can build on his impressive first season, it seems conceivable that Rovers will struggle to hold onto him for much longer.

3. Andy Lyons

andy-lyons Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

The highly-rated Ireland U19 defender only completed his Leaving Cert this year in addition to breaking into the Bohs senior team. He has already gone on trial to Wolves, while he was recently linked with a move to Crystal Palace.

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