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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 20 January 2021

Preston's Robinson in line for Ireland debut against Celtic but 'papers haven’t come through yet'

The 23-year-old forward has eight goals and seven assists in the Championship this season.

Robinson celebrates his goal against Burton Albion last weekend.
Robinson celebrates his goal against Burton Albion last weekend.
Image: EMPICS Sport

MARTIN O’NEILL HAS looked to bolster his attacking options by calling up Preston North End’s Callum Robinson today.

With Daryl Murphy and Wes Hoolahan both retiring from international football in recent months, his list of forwards has been considerably depleted.

But Sean Maguire and Scott Hogan were given their first chance to play together in the friendly against Turkey in March, while Jon Walters has confirmed that he is sticking around for the Euro 2020 campaign.

23-year-old Robinson, who can play as a striker or on the wing, first publicly announced his intention to represent the Boys in Green during an exclusive interview with The42 back in March.

“I’m not saying that they are going to pick me but I’d like to put it out there that I’m available and looking ahead to the future,” Northampton-born Robinson, who is eligible to play for Ireland through his maternal grandmother, said at the time.

With eight goals and seven assists for Preston this season, the former England U20 international may prove a shrewd addition to the group.

And Robinson could be set to make his Ireland debut against Celtic in Scott Brown’s testimonial on 20 May, as it’s not an official Fifa friendly, but he won’t be available for the games with France (28 May) and the US (2 June) as his paperwork hasn’t yet been completed.

I just want to clarify that he [Robinson] will be involved in the Celtic game,” O’Neill said.

“It hasn’t come through yet but I have spoken to him and he is delighted to be in it. But the papers haven’t come through yet, so he will be involved in the game at Celtic.”

Cambridge United v Peterborough United - Checkatrade Trophy - Southern Group H - Abbey Stadium Peterborough's Conor O'Malley. Source: EMPICS Sport

Robinson joins Peterborough United goalkeeper Conor O’Malley (formerly of St Patrick’s Athletic), Millwall midfielder Shaun Williams and Shamrock Rovers star Graham Burke in the provisional 40-man squad announced today.

O’Neill is again set to give some fringe players the chance to impress as he builds towards the first-ever Uefa Nations League later in the year.

“This is a big opportunity,” he added.” We’ve got the Celtic game, which isn’t a fully-fledged international match, and two games against France, which will be a major test for us as they are heading out to the World Cup, and the USA, who, like ourselves, didn’t make it.

“They’re big games for us and it’s very important if some players get the opportunity, then they should grab it ahead of the matches coming up in September and October.”

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Ben Blake

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