The Money Man, Free Agents and Lone Stars – all aboard Irish Transfer Merry-Go-Round

Sometimes it seems that the shifting activity provides more of a dopamine rush for the modern football supporter than the game itself. For Irish followers of the sport in that category, it has been a summer to remember.

The start of the EFL season means that most of our players employed across the water are now back to work.

And there are dozens pulling on jerseys for the first time, a by-product of an oddly high amount of moves for individuals that can be appropriately grouped under different categories.

There’s still a month left in the window, which means there should be more to come, with Jason Knight and Shane Duffy at the forefront of potential development. Blackpool’s search for Shamrock Rovers wing-back Andy Lyons could add to the Dubliner taking their first steps across the water in Ireland’s growing league, with British clubs very keen to shop the Irish in a post-Brexit world. Here’s a selection of movers and shakers to keep an eye on.

money man

Four Irish players have gone for the £1m mark and three of them have a Nathan Collins theme running through. Collins is now the most expensive player to emerge from these shores after Wolves paid Burnley £20m (€24m) to keep him in the Premier League.

Vincent Kompany has effectively used some of those funds to bolster his hand for Burnley’s promotion push, with Belgium back to spending £2.5m (€3m) on Josh Cullen at his old club Anderlecht. St Patrick’s Athletic defender Luke McNally, a player who would not have crossed the pinnacle of his domestic rise with closed-door football, has arrived and left League One for £1.6m (€1.9m) So that would generate a lot of publicity.

The second big mover is synonymous with the League of Ireland and spent a good part of his summer break at his old club, Shamrock Rovers. After back-to-back loan moves, Gavin Bazunu left Manchester City for Southampton in a deal that could rise from £12m (€14.3m) to £16m (€19m) at the time. He is in a good position to start the season as Saint number one and City put in a buy-back clause for a reason. Both Bazunu and Collins are blessed with a belief that they belong in elite circles.

These four players should be excited about what will happen next.

international free agent

Players are often the big winners with free transfer moves. Allowing their contract to expire means a fairly large sign-on happens for free in the absence of transfer fees. Of course, it could soften the blow for a recognizable contingent of Irish performers who are falling in grades and are likely to move from their Premier League highs to a low base salary.

Robbie Brady desperately needs to restart his career, and Preston pays a modest enough wage by championship standards. Considering the 30-year-old’s recent injury record, it is a pressure campaign for him.

Shane Long dropped out of the Premier League, where he started in England by signing for Reading. He hopes to break into Stephen Kenny’s plans again but it looks ambitious. He didn’t tear it down before last season on a brief loan with Bournemouth at this level. It is a good story though.

The above knight needs to get out of the derby, yet he’s gotten old, familiar faces around him to escape League One on the first attempt. Conor Horihane’s position has faded after heavy loans at Swansea and Sheffield United, so he returned to third tier in search of form. He is joined by David McGoldrick and James Collins. McGoldrick is no longer at the level that made his Irish retirement such bad news for Kenny, while Collins – who never made it to the Premier League – is a fine signing in this company given his previous goal-scoring record with Luton. Is.

Callum O’Dovda needs a fresh start after entering forgotten human territory and can do so with his escape from the healing table in Cardiff.

The most important could prove to be Darragh Lenihan’s decision to decline a new deal at Free Blackburn and sign for Chris Wilder at Middlesbrough. Lenihan impressed against Ukraine in June and is in fact the only player in the class who has the potential to have his best days ahead. Middlesbrough is a contender for championship promotion.

minus stars

Troy Parrott was handed a new contract by Spurs before going on a fourth loan spell of his career and it is hoped his success at MK Dons last year has pushed the attacker in the right direction. He has landed in Preston, where he wants to show that he can cut it at championship level. The first major setback of his career was the switch to Millwall this time two years earlier, which proved to be a largely anti-climax.

Stoke City is another side to track. Michael O’Neill has added John O’Shea to his coaching staff and recruited two members of the under-21 team, with whom the Watford man has teamed up. Gavin Kilkenny (Bournemouth) and Will Smallbone (Southampton) have been sent there by their employers and the midfield duo should enjoy the opening. His international colleague, Toyo Adarmola, is also championship-bound for the year, with Crystal Palace sending a promising left-back to Coventry.

Ireland’s loan squad in that division (for now at least, Connor Coventry will certainly be sent by West Ham) has been completed by Jeff Hendricks, who is at a different stage in his career. His days at Newcastle are numbered, but seasoned professionals know there is no need to walk out of a good contract on a permanent basis. Reading reached a deal to bring on Hendricks for the year.

league of ireland

This effectively brings us into League One, although it is worth mentioning that teenagers Trent Coen-Doherty (Derry to Liverpool) and Alex Murphy (Galway to Newcastle) have graduated higher to join development teams.

However, a well-documented feature of the summer is that the LOI has become a feeder league to the third tier, where clubs can no longer move to the continent for cheap imports due to Brexit-related work-permit rules. The Irish passport makes traveling to the UK easily and there is also a growing recognition that the talented players standing here are able to transition into the water in a good place to enter the UK ladder.

If this year’s departures replicate the success of the aforementioned McNally and others, perhaps it will be easier to look for larger upfront fees. In fact, clubs here rely on sell-off rules to earn a fair amount of money for their former players.

MK Dons respect the Irish market and have swooped in for both St Patrick’s athletic winger Darragh Burns and bohemian playmaker Dawson Devoy. Burns shines pre-season and his star can rise very quickly.

Lincoln City, now managed by Mark Kennedy, capitalized on a short release clause in Danny Mandreau’s contract to sign the Shamrock Rovers attacker. If he fits in and finds a role in the team where he can express himself, Mandroiou is another high-ceilinged man.

Oxford made a late move to bring in Ed McGinty and all the vibes are that the Sligo Rovers stopper wanted to go somewhere where he could play so it would be a surprise if he didn’t claim his jersey – or loan again. goes on to continue his pace.

Bolton was looking for a battle-hardened centre-half and turned to Derry City captain Eoin Tol. He also added young Erik Yoro from UCD but he will have to be patient.

Promise Omochere hasn’t generated the same hype as Burns, Devoy and Mandroiou, but if he improves on his finishing he has got the ability to ignite and should be given the opportunity to do so by Fleetwood Town. Today’s teamsheet will give us an idea of ​​where this group stands; He should have a fitness edge over some of his new teammates, given that they were playing right in June and early July.

under the radar

Not every piece of Irish-related business is featured in the news bulletin, but there are a few notable ones that may become relevant over time. Mark Sykes is not yet a full Irish international, but the Belfast boy made up Kenny’s March squad after switching allegiance from Northern Ireland and he was preparing himself for a championship success with Bristol City after leaving Oxford free. Used to be. Luton Town picked Irish under-21 player Louis Watson from the derby and he is highly rated by some knowledgeable observers.

Former Cork City defender Conor McCarthy has moved south of Barnsley from St Mirren for free and Luca Connell has made the same journey after a grueling stay at Celtic. Ipswich hopes to exit League One and pay a high six-figure sum for Portsmouth’s Marcus Harness, another on the edge of Kenny’s plans.

Limerick’s Paddy O’Connor made his move to League One by entering the Lincoln dressing room with Kennedy and Mandroieu. And another reason to keep an eye on MK Dawns is Conor Grant, a creative Dubliner signed from Rochdale, who is held in very high esteem. He’s another one to keep track of on a long list of names.