Reports are circulating that Harry Arter will declare for England, despite earning three caps for Ireland.
The Bournemouth midfielder has been in excellent form for his club this season, and his performances haven’t gone unnoticed in the English media. Last week, Jeff Stelling and Paul Merson – seemingly unaware that Arter has represented Ireland – claimed that he could be in contention for an England call up.
Technically, Arter could still represent the Three Lions, as he hasn’t played a competitive match for the Republic of Ireland. Ironically, he made his Ireland debut in a friendly against England.
His most recent cap came in the 4-0 thrashing of Oman, but a groin injury ruled him out of last night’s 1-0 win over Georgia.
While there has been growing social media speculation over Arter’s future, it is worth noting that the English-born midfielder has made no comment on the issue himself.
The question was put to Martin O’Neill after the victory over Georgia, and the Ireland manager said;
“That’s news to me. I’ve no idea. He hasn’t played a competitive game for us, so the choice is entirely with the player.”
The loss of Arter would be a huge blow for the boys in green, as the 26 year old midfielder can offer something different to O’Neill’s midfield. Another ‘Jack Grealish’ type saga is the last thing Ireland need during the World Cup qualifiers.
Robbie Brady is unlikely to be fit for the Moldova match, and Jeff Hendrick is suspended, so it will be interesting to see whether Arter recovers from his groin strain in time to make his competitive debut.