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The Manchester City goalkeeper made two starts over the international break.
One of the few positives to be taken from Ireland’s underwhelming international break was the emergence of Gavin Bazunu to the senior fold.
The Manchester City ‘keeper – currently on loan at Rochdale – impressed in both of the games he played, particularly so on his debut against Luxembourg, though.
Although he failed to keep a clean sheet, the 19-year-old displayed all the desirable attributes a modern goalkeeper should have. He was commanding in his box, displayed quick reflexes, showed for the ball and demonstrated an impressive passing range.
Bazunu’s rise to the international fold has been a rapid one, it’s not every day that a teenage goalkeeper starts a European World Cup qualifier, let alone on his international debut. In fact, the last ‘keeper to do so was Jan Oblak for Slovenia in 2012 and he’s done alright for himself since.
Bazunu came through the Shamrock Rovers academy, making his debut as a 16-year-old against Bray Wanderers. Just weeks later, he saved a penalty from Cork City’s Kieran Sadlier which generated significant hype around the youngster.
Less than a year later, he would make his move to English giants Manchester City.
After over a year of playing for various Manchester City underage sides, he joined League One side Rochdale in August last year on a season-long loan deal. Since moving on loan, he has earned himself several admirers, including the Rochdale supporters who named him their player of the month for the month February.
Bazunu took to Instagram yesterday to post about his feelings regarding his international debut.
“I’ve dreamt of playing for Ireland for as long as I can remember,” he wrote.
“Some of the lads that I can now call teammates were once my heroes.
“I thank everyone around me who has helped along the way to get me to this point in my young career.
“Still a lot to work on and learn from for the future. I will work as hard as I can to remain part of this group and will always fight when I’m given the chance to wear the shirt. COYBIG.”
Bazunu’s aim for the season now will be to help Rochdale survive the drop down to League Two. Currently, they’re bottom of League One and four points from safety. However, they do have a number of games in hand over their relegation rivals.
Gavin Bazunu on Instagram 👇
What a post ♥️
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) MARCH 31, 2021