Unveiling Ireland’s Hidden Gems: The Rising Football Stars 

Ireland has a knack for producing some silky football talents, and there are plenty of rising stars in the scene who you might not have heard about yet. So whether you’re into making predictions on the future of the Irish national team like you might make boxing predictions before a big fight, these are some of the rising stars you should back. This article will explore some of these hidden gems in greater detail, gems you might well see playing for the Boys in Green shortly.

Andrew Moran: Brighton and Hove Albion

Brighton seems to be the place for young Irish talents, and Moran joins their impressive youth ranks alongside cemented Ireland national team member and youngster Evan Ferguson. However, Moran is playing his football on loan at Blackburn Rovers, something national team fans can be happy about, given the Championship club’s eagerness to promote and play young talents in their starting XI. The exciting attacking midfielder is everything the national team is missing, and Moran could prove to be a crucial cog soon. With more opportunities to shine in the English second tier, the maestro will hopefully be ready to play on the international stage easily.

Festy Ebsosele – Udinese

Ebsosele (front pic) is one of several young Irish talents who have chosen to move abroad to play football in recent years, having switched from Derby to Serie A outlet Udinese. The right-wing back had a tough start to life in Italy, but things took off in the 2023/2024 campaign, with Ebsosele notching up 27 appearances and counting so far this season. As for his future with the Irish national team, the youngster has already been called up to the senior side before, but if his frightening Serie A form continues, he will likely play a pivotal role in the years to come. He’s arguably the most impressive player on this list and the heir to Seamus Coleman’s right-back spot.

Kevin Zefi – AS Roma

The former Shamrock Rovers winger is also plying his trade in Italy like Ebsosele. However, things haven’t been super straightforward for the talented youngster. After lighting up the League of Ireland and becoming the competition’s youngest-ever goalscorer after hitting the net against Longford Town, Zefi moved to Inter Milan. Nevertheless, his career stalled slightly, and Zefi moved to AS Roma in the Italian capital instead. At 19 years old, there is still plenty of time for Zefi to make his mark at a top club, and while he may not be an instant pick for the national team, he’s certainly a name to keep an eye out for.

Cathal Heffernan – Newcastle United

Heffernan is another Irish talent who played his football in Italy for a while, learning the tricks of the trade at juggernaut AC Milan. However, in the summer of 2023, Heffernan decided his career would be better off in England and made the move to Premier League side Newcastle United. The teenager who primarily plays as a center-back, has represented Republic of Ireland from under-15 to under-18 level and made his senior debut at the age of 16 for hometown club Cork City in October 2021. Heffernan and the Irish national team will profit from Newcastle’s recent investment in their youth system, and the youngster could well see his name on the Irish national team sooner rather than later.

Sean Moore – West Ham United

The ex-Cliftonville star moved to the Hammers in the summer of 2023 and has immediately made an impression, settling into the club’s Premier League 2 ranks with relative ease. The Republic of Ireland youth international, who also previously represented Northern Ireland at the underage level, is usually deployed at right wing-back for his club and will offer stiff competition for the role in the Irish national to the likes of Ebsosele in the future. After signing a three-year professional contract at the London Stadium, Moore will have plenty of time to learn the ropes at one of the Premier League’s biggest teams and could be a star in the making.

Written by YBIG 12

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