Promising Irish midfielder Jack Byrne has joined Blackburn Rovers on loan from parent club Manchester City for the coming season.
After impressing last season in the Eredivisie with SC Cambuur despite the club falling to relegation Byrne is highly rated across Europe. He sees the move to Blackburn as the ideal avenue to enhance his reputation in England and catch the eye of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill.
Blackburnmanager Owen Coyle was glowing in his assessment of Byrne.
“He’s got great set-play delivery, he can find that final pass, he can score a goal himself, he’s just turned 20 now, so he’s set for a huge career I think. He can find a pass for the Danny Graham’s and the Anthony Stokes’ of this world, and the wide players that we’ve got.”
Praise like this can only be good news for Byrne who is the type of player a team can be built around. His range of passing is perhaps his best asset. There may be some initial concerns over his physique. His diminutive stature wasn’t an issue in the Dutch league but the Championship is a different kettle of fish completely. If Coyle uses the young midfielder as the fulcrum of his team he will no doubt be targeted for some special treatment by some of the leagues less cultured midfielders.
It will be a big test for Byrne but it is one he has all the tools to pass, brains rather than brawn will be his weapon of choice. If Byrne can acquit himself well at championship level he will be a fixture in O’Neill’s squad in no time. Those are the steps left to take in Byrne’s career, establish himself at Blackburn, then with Ireland and if he can make an impression at City under Pep Guardiola we may have something very special on our hands.