Sheffield United: Chris Wilder believes centre-half can excel at the Euros
Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, is backing John Egan to secure a place in the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2020 plans if Mick McCarthy's side reach next year's finals.
Egan, the United defender, is expected to start tomorrow's tie in Georgia, which could see the Irish take a major step towards qualifying for the tournament after travelling to Tblisi at top of Group D.
With Derby County's Richard Keogh facing a long spell on the sidelines due to injury, the trip to the Caucasus represents a chance for Egan to become one of McCarthy's first choice centre-halves. And potentially ensure he takes part in one of the world's most prestigious sporting tournaments alongside compatriots David McGoldrick, Enda Stevens and Callum Robinson.
Egan, the son of a Gaelic football legend, captained Ireland during last month's friendly against Bulgaria despite winning only his fifth senior cap.
"I think if you know John, he's so proud of his background and his country," Wilder said. "You saw him when he captained his country and I know Mick thinks a lot about him.
"So it's a great chance for John now to go and cement a place in his national side, which I know he's desperate to do."
Although a groin problem has ruled McGoldrick out of the game, Robinson and Stevens have travelled with McCarthy's squad despite the latter’s suspension,
"John has done brilliant for us," Wilder said. "He's a proud Irishman, like they all are, and representing your country is the pinnacle. When he captained them, you could see what it meant."