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.

Friday, 11th October 2019, 2:40 pm
Updated Friday, 11th October 2019, 10:41 pm
Republic of Ireland's John Egan: Niall Carson/PA Wire.

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.

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"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."