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Dublin: 8°C Sunday 25 October 2020

3 players we'd like to see feature in Martin O'Neill's upcoming Ireland squad

The Irish manager is set to announce his squad for the Euro 2016 qualifier against Poland today.

1. Harry Arter

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Bournemouth v Nottingham Forest - Goldsands Stadium Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

MARTIN O’NEILL HAS been to watch the 25-year-old Bournemouth midfielder and was impressed by what he saw.

Speaking to RTÉ, The Ireland manager said: “His enthusiasm is very strong and he is performing regularly in a side that is going very strongly for promotion.”

The Londoner, who qualifies through his Sligo-born grandparents, has featured for Ireland’s U17 and U19 teams in the past, and says he would welcome a call-up to the senior squad.

“Without a shadow of doubt I’d jump at the chance,” Arter told RTÉ. “It would be my biggest achievement to date if I was to get the call from the manager and it’d be an experience I’d really look forward to and [I would] try to learn as much as I can from it.”

Arter has featured consistently for Bournemouth this year, as they’ve risen to the top of the Championship, with the player scoring six goals in 37 appearances.

2. Keiren Westwood

Soccer - Sky Bet League Championship - Sheffield Wednesday v Brighton & Hove Albion - Hillsborough Source: Ryan Browne

Westwood has been on the fringes of Ireland squads before, but missed out on the final squad for the November games against Scotland and USA owing to a hip injury.

Yet on form alone, Westwood deserves a place in the Poland squad. He was Sheffield Wednesday’s Player of the Month for September and October, and was even linked with a move to Liverpool in the January transfer window.

With David Forde currently struggling along with the rest of the relegation-threatened Millwall team and Shay Given largely having to be content with a place on the Villa bench, Westwood would be a useful alternative to have in the squad.

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3. Matt Doherty

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers v Blackburn Rovers - Molineux Source: David Davies

The 23-year-old Dubliner is unlikely to replace Seamus Coleman on the right side of the defence for Ireland anytime soon.

However, Doherty is also capable of playing left-back — where Ireland’s options are currently limited.

With Robbie Brady and Stephen Ward both likely to miss out on the Poland clash and Brian Lenihan still relatively inexperienced at senior level, Ireland are in dire need of an alternative full-back option.

Doherty’s services could consequently be called upon as he has regularly featured for Wolves in the Championship this season.

“This is probably my best run of form since I came to England,” he told The Herald back in October.

“I feel great going into every match, this could be a great season for us. We’re a solid team and good things are still to come from us.”

Originally published Wednesday 19.00

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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