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4 Irish players who made the move abroad in 2020 and 3 who could follow next year

Jamie McGrath and others who opted to try their luck further afield.

St Mirren's Jamie McGrath (file pic).
St Mirren's Jamie McGrath (file pic).
Image: PA

4 who moved

Conor McCarthy

The defender joined St Mirren from Cork City in January 2020 and has made an encouraging start to life in Scotland. The 22-year-old has been playing regularly in the Scottish Premiership, with McCarthy memorably scoring the winning goal in their recent 3-2 cup success against Rangers.

Jamie McGrath

McGrath left Dundalk to sign a two-and-a-half year deal with St Mirren in January 2020. The 24-year-old Meath native is adapting well at his new club — he has six goals in all competitions so far this season, including an unforgettable brace in the cup win over Rangers.

Zack Elbouzedi

The Ireland U21 international left Waterford to sign for League One outfit Lincoln City at the turn of the year. Having made a handful of appearances last season, it hasn’t worked out as planned this year for the Dublin-born winger so far in the campaign, as he has been largely restricted to FA Cup and Football League Trophy appearances, with his side challenging around the top of the table without him in the starting XI.

Danny Grant

The PFAI Young Player of the Year was an integral part of a Bohs side that finished second in the Premier Division this year. As a result of his impressive form, the Ireland U21 winger recently earned a move to Championship outfit Huddersfield

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3 who could follow

evan-ferguson Bohemians' Evan Ferguson (file pic). Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Evan Ferguson

Bohs boss Keith Long revealed last month that Ferguson, a 16-year-old who has already made his senior debut for the Dalymount Park outfit, is set to join Brighton in the summer. However, given his age, it’s not 100% clear whether the new rules relating to Brexit could potentially scupper that move for the youngster, who is the son of former League of Ireland player and Irish youth international Barry Ferguson.

Jack Byrne

Byrne has made a big impact since joining Shamrock Rovers, winning the Premier Division’s Player-of-the-Season award two years on the bounce and being key to the Hoops’ title success in 2020. It seems unlikely that he will stick around for another campaign, though, with reported interest in Britain and beyond. Multiple recent reports indicate that the Dubliner is set for a reunion with former Ireland boss Mick McCarthy at APOEL Nicosia in Cyprus.  

Kevin Zefi

The 15-year-old attacker is highly thought of in Irish underage circles and he has already made a number of appearances in the First Division this year with Shamrock Rovers II. Back in September, he became the youngest goalscorer in League of Ireland history when he netted against Longford. He is another player who could be impacted by Brexit-related rules, though there has been interest further afield than Britain, with Inter Milan among the clubs linked with the Ireland U15 international.

– First published 07.30, 31 December

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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