With Stephen Kenny firmly on the rocky road of his rebuilding job of the Irish set up. Kenny knows the job is a five year year project and already he has given lots of debuts to young players. So this is a great time for younger players, who in the past would have had to wait a few more years before they got into an Ireland squad.
So, we here at YBIG have had a look at some of the younger youth players in the Premier League and pick our three prospects to keep an eye out for. Will they break through next season and get some Premier League minutes or will they need to establish themselves elsewhere with a loan to a Championship or League 1 club?
Ireland have two friendly games coming up at the start of June, where we play Andorra on June 3rd in Barcelona and Hungary on June 8th in Budapest. With Kenny desperate to finally get a win and some momentum going, he is likely to treat these games more importantly and may not experiment as much as he would like to. But with our World Cup chances effectively over he may experiment more with the younger players at his disposal later in the campaign
It is highly unlikely our three to watch would make it into his plans for the World Cup qualifiers but the Euro 2024 qualifiers might be a more realistic target.
Dara Costelloe (Burnley) Age 18: Born: December 11, 2002
This young midfielder has recently moved from Galway United where he made his senior debut in September 2018, against Finn Harps. He is Galway United’s youngest ever player at just 15 years old. He joined Burnley’s academy in February of this year after training with the club during the previous summer.
With finances expected to be tight again at Turf Moor this summer, Sean Dyche could call up players from the academy to strengthen the first-team squad. Next season’s Premier League relegation odds will almost certainly place them as one of the favourites to go down, especially given how poor this season has been for them. With the three relegated teams putting up next to no fight for survival, in any other season Burnley would have been in a dog fight.
Charlie McCann (Manchester United) Age 19: Born: April 24, 2002
After changing international allegiance, McCann decided to represent Ireland. He played in all three Ireland Under 17s games as they failed to get out of the group stage in May 2019 as part of the Euro Championships.
He is well regarded at Manchester United, a club with a rich history of giving their academy players chances. He was signed by the club in September 2017 and is expected to be a key part of the club’s under-23 squad next season. United might also consider a loan move for McCann next season, where he has scored some important goals and put in impressive performances for the Under 23s.
Had he been a year older, the attacking midfielder could have been involved in United’s end of season fixtures. With a Champions League place secured the club has been resting players ahead of the Europa League final, with some academy players involved in the recent league defeat to Leicester City.
George Nunn (Chelsea) Age 19: Born November 23, 2001
George Nunn turns 20 in November and, despite impressing at times for the club’s under-23 sides, he might need to leave the club on loan to gain some first-team experience. The player could look towards the likes of Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham for inspiration on breaking into the Chelsea side.
However, with 20 appearances and a couple of goals under his belt in the Premier League 2 already this year, it’s clear to see that Nunn has a bright future ahead of him. Whether that will be at Stamford Bridge is yet to be decided.