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Dublin: 11°C Sunday 18 April 2021
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Jack Byrne's disappointing loan spell with Blackburn to end early

It has been a frustrating season for the Irish midfielder.

Byrne has struggled to make an impact this term.
Byrne has struggled to make an impact this term.
Image: Andrew Matthews

IT WAS A move which promised so much, but Jack Byrne’s loan spell with Blackburn Rovers is set to be cut short this month.

The Ireland underage international moved to the Championship club on a season-long loan at the start of the campaign but has failed to make an impression at Ewood Park and is now set to return to parent club Manchester City.

Byrne, who trained with Martin O’Neill’s Irish senior squad last year, has found first team opportunities hard to come by under Owen Coyle and hasn’t started for Blackburn since August.

In total, the 20-year-old has featured just four times in the league for the club and recently lined-out for Blackburn’s U23 side in a bid to work his way back into the fold.

Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, Coyle admitted that the midfielder needs game time.

“I have had dialogue with Manchester City over Jack Byrne who we know is a very talented player,” he said.

“He will have a terrific career but I think it’s important Jack gets some game-time and he’s not had that of late.

Soccer - Barclays U18 Premier League - Final - Manchester City v Everton - Goodison Park Byrne has been on the books at City for five years. Source: Mike Egerton

“To be fair he has been ill over Christmas. The likelihood is that Jack will return to Manchester City and get some game-time, whether that be with another loan spell or in the youth teams.”

This season will have been a source of great frustration for the Dubliner who had made such encouraging progress with Dutch side Cambuur last year, scoring four goals in 27 games in the Eredivisie.

His performances caught the eye and last March was called up to train with the Ireland senior squad ahead of friendlies against Slovakia and Switzerland.

Byrne is widely-regarded as one of Ireland’s most exciting young prospects and has been likened to Paul Scholes by former Man City elite development squad manager Patrick Vieira.

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Ryan Bailey

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