Kevin Long has been included in Martin O’Neill’s 38 man squad for Ireland’s upcoming fixtures against Mexico, Uruguay and Austria.
The Burnley defender made his Premier League debut a fortnight ago against West Brom, and the 26 year old has since appeared for the Clarets against Bournemouth.
“Roy saw him play last week and he said that you shouldn’t discount him,” O’Neill said at today’s press conference.
“He is a player who has had a host of injuries and has been loaned out. I think he actually made his debut last week so we’re just keeping a little eye on him.
“He didn’t do too badly in the game, so hopefully I’ll have a look at him in the game next week if he is playing.
“And with Ciaran Clark out, it is nice to have competition for places.”
Long, a former Cork City centre half, may earn his first cap in one of the international friendlies against Mexico or Uruguay.
Ciaran Clark will miss out through injury, but Shane Duffy has been included and is likely to be fit despite missing the end of Brighton’s promotion run in the Championship.
Cork City striker Sean Maguire and in-form Irish forward Cillian Sheridan, who is plying his trade in Poland, missed out on the panel, but O’Neill claimed that the Irish management team are keeping an eye on both attackers.
“We are monitoring [Maguire] and if he continues to progress there’s no reason why he can’t make it,” the Irish manager said. “But there are people ahead of him in terms of experience as much as anything.”
Here is the 38 man squad in full:
Midfielders: Aiden McGeady (Everton), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City), Jeff Hendrick, Robbie Brady (Burnley), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Stephen Gleeson (Birmingham City), Eunan O’Kane (Leeds United), Darron Gibson (Sunderland), Liam Kelly (Reading), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City), James McClean (West Bromwich Albion), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), Daryl Horgan (Preston North End), Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen)
Forwards: Kevin Doyle (Colorado Rapids), David McGoldrick (Ipswich Town), Daryl Murphy (Newcastle United), Shane Long (Southampton), Jonathan Walters (Stoke City), Adam Rooney (Aberdeen)