Sheffield United: Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy '˜considers swoop' for Blades defender Jack O'Connell
Mick McCarthy, the new Republic of Ireland boss, is hoping Sheffield United defender Jack O'Connell will join his Irish set-up, according to reports.
The Irish Mirror reported today that McCarthy ran the rule over O’Connell on Tuesday, when United beat his former club Brentford at Griffin Park.
The Liverpudlian played for England at U18 and U19 level but, as his surname suggests, is thought to have Irish heritage in his family.
O’Connell’s Bramall Lane teammate David McGoldrick could also feature heavily in McCarthy’s new era, having found caps hard to come by under his predecessor Martin O’Neill.
McGoldrick, who was adopted, is eligible to play for McCarthy’s men because he has a maternal Irish grandparent, and worked with the new boss at Ipswich until they both left Portman Road in the summer.
McCarthy said: "I looked at him the other night and it's the fittest that I’ve seen him in a long time. He’s a good footballer and I’m not writing anybody off.”
If selected, O'Connell and McGoldrick will likely join their United teammates John Egan and Enda Stevens in the Irish set-up as part of a growing stable of Bramall Lane internationals.
John Fleck recently received his long-overdue first call-up to the Scotland senior side, while Ben Woodburn and Kieron Freeman are in Ryan Giggs' Wales thoughts.
Dean Henderson is England's under-21 No.1 goalkeeper, while Oliver Norwood and Conor Washington are involved with Northern Ireland.
“I think it shows how far we’ve come in such a short space of time that we’ve got lads being selected by their countries," Blades boss Chris Wilder said recently.
"It shows the level they are playing at, the type of performances they have been putting in on a consistent basis.
“It’s great for them and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s great for us as a football club as well. It shows we’ve been moving forward in the right direction when these lads are getting picked.”