Top 10 Irish Transfers This Window – In a strange year for football and its delayed transfer window, let’s take a look at the top ten Irish transfers.
1.Matt Doherty – Tottenham Hotspur (14.7 million)
Without a doubt one of Irelands best performers in the Premier League in recent years is Matt Doherty. Playing primarily as a right wing back or right back. Doherty has rose to prominence in the last three years since his former Wolves side were promoted into the Premier League. Nuno Santos side took the league by storm with an no fear brand of football in an expansive 5-4-1 formation, with Doherty at right wing back.
Doherty’s performances caught the eye of the ambitious top 4 contenders Tottenham Hotspur. Jose Mourinho’s side signed Doherty this window on a four-year deal for 14.7 million pounds. A great deal for both parties with Tottenham getting a bargain and Doherty playing with the leagues best and potentially a higher brand of European football on the horizon.
2 Shane Duffy – Celtic (2 million loan deal)
One of Irelands most solid defenders since bursting on the scene in Euro 2016 is Shane Duffy. Since then Duffy moved to Brighton in the premier league under Chris Houghton at the time, with Duffy a central figure. Duffy is a big, tall centre back whom is a threat from set pieces. For the last four years Duffy and Brighton centre back partner Lewis Dunk have been arguably one of the leagues most solid pairings at the back.
However, since sacking of Houghton and the arrival of new manager Graham Potter, Duffy has had very limited game time. Potter wanted to implement a new style of play which was a more expressive style rather than Brighton’s previous park the bus approach. With this new style came change.
A new formation with three at the back with one central defender was favored. Unfortunately for Shane Duffy, Lewis Dunk filled that void whist Duffy was confined to the bench. With game time limited to just 19 games last season half of which, coming from the bench. This was not enough for Duffy whom had previously been playing 30 plus games regularly. It was clearly time for a change and In this window that’s exactly what happened. Duffy moved to his boyhood club Celtic on a one year loan deal at an estimated 2 million pounds.
3 Josh Cullen – Anderlecht (800k)
Josh Cullen is one of top Irish prospects to come from the West Ham academy having spent over fifteen years contracted to the club. Unfortunately for Cullen and for most underage players game time has been limited to cup appearances. In order to prove himself to his boyhood club Cullen ventured out on many loan deals to Bradford City, Bolton Wanders and most recently at Charlton Athletic. Cullen put in magnificent performances during his spell at Charlton helping them gain promotion from League one to the Championship.
Despite their relegation the following season Cullen went on to make over 34 appearances as one of the squads’ key players. This caught the eye of manager David Moyes who was recently appointed the new manager of West Ham at the end of last season. Cullen was recalled to the squad and impressed during preseason with fans raving about him. More misfortune followed as the premier league started with Cullen left out of the squads having contacted covid 19 along with manager David Moyes.
Since his recovery it was made clear that he was not to be part of West Ham’s future plans and he was sold to Belgian Side Anderlecht for 800 thousand pounds on a three year deal. Anderlecht, once giants in the Belgian top division were looking to return to former glory with some key signings under new manager Vincent Kompany. With Cullen looking to be a key player in a team on the rise European football could be on the cards if a strong season is had.
4 Jeff Hendrick – Newcastle United (Free Transfer)
Next on the list is Jeff Hendrick. The twenty eight year old rose to prominence during Euro 2016 whilst at the time at Derby county in the championship. A good 15/16 season saw Hendrick bought by Burnley as they pushed for premier league promotion. Hendrick is quite adaptable and can play anywhere across the midfield. His most consistent positions have seen him play centre midfield for derby and Ireland whist adapting his game to a right winger for Burnley in the Premier League. With Hendricks contract at Burnley expiring in the summer arose problems due to covid 19.
With leagues being delayed and restarted over summer led to issues for Hendrick to agree terms with Burnley. This accompanied with reported interest from AC Milan and Manchester United made Hendrick a valuable item as a free transfer. Hendrick opted not to extend his contract with Burnley as a result. However, due to Covid 19 worsening around the world the interest from other clubs faded.
Hendrick, now a free transfer went looking for a new club. Newcastle United having had transfer issues of their own due to uncertainty around a potential new owner swooped in for the Irish man on a four year deal.
5 Harry Arter – Nottingham Forrest (Undisclosed)
Harry Arter could consider himself rather unlucky not to be playing in the premier league this season given his experience. The thirty old has seen premier league action with Bournemouth making over 200 appearances and Cardiff City. Arter is primarily a central midfielder that has bags of energy and is a tough tackling player. Whilst in the premier league with Bournemouth, Arter was a regular starter but gradually was faded out of the side as the club grew bigger each season.
In 2018, he went out on loan to Cardiff city in the second half of the season, but his signing was not enough to save Cardiff as they were relegated that season. 2019 saw another loan deal for Arter as he joined brother in law Scott Parker now Fulham manager as they looked for immediate promotion back to the premier league. Arter had his best season for quite some time making over 28 appearances and earning a call up to the international team under Mick McCarthy.
With Fulham in the race for promotion, Arters hopes to a strong season were derailed by injury ruling him out for the rest of the season. Fulham were promoted through the playoffs but did not pursue Arter on a permanent deal. This window saw Nottingham Forest sign the Irishman on a three year deal ending his ten year contract with Bournemouth.
6 Cyrus Christie – Nottingham Forrest (Undisclosed Loan Deal)
Cyrus Christie like fellow Forrest teammate Harry Arter will feel hard done by not to be in the Premier League this year. Christie is a powerful and pacey right back that can also play wing back if required. The twenty eight year old has played predominantly in the Championship for clubs such as Fulham, Coventry and Middlesbrough.
Christie has played in the Premier League for Fulham making over 50 appearances for the club. Despite being a main player in defence for Fulham in their Championship season following their regulation Cyrus was put up for loan. This coming as Fulham manager Scott Parker seemed to loan or sell off players that had been in the squad during their poor Premier League season. This in an attempt to give their squad fresh eyes as they were promoted back to the top flight this year.
With the right back at the age where he needs regular minutes a move was required. Nottingham Forrest came in this summer to take the full back on a undisclosed one year loan deal.
7 Scott Hogan – Birmingham City (Undisclosed)
Scott Hogan was once one of the hot Ireland prospects when he signed for Aston Villa for 9 million pounds in 2017. However, since then his form has been derailed due to injuries and a lack of goals. Hogan at the age of twenty eight he has struggled throughout his career to find a permanent home.
In his time as a professional footballer this will be the fifteenth club he’s signed for, be it loan deal or permanent transfer. Hogan has spent his career mostly in the Championship for clubs such as Brentford, Aston Villa, Sheffield United, Stoke City and Rochdale. The Irishman is a striker by trade that plays as a hold up striker but can also make runs in behind with his pace. In the 2019/20 season Hogan found some joy with a loan move to Birmingham City.
Hogan made over 17 appearances scoring 7 goals. He clearly impressed as Birmingham City signed Hogan on a four-year deal along with five other signings in a push up the table.
8 Daryl Horgan – Wycombe Wanderers (Undisclosed)
Daryl Horgan once hailed as the next Damien Duff hasn’t quite lived up to expectation since moving away from Ireland. Horgan has spent more than half of his footballing career in Ireland at clubs such as Sligo, Cork and Dundalk. While at Dundalk he worked under current Ireland manager Stephen Kenny during their spell of domination and quest for Europe.
With multiple Irish league titles to his name Horgan attracted clubs from all over the globe. But in 2017 he chose to go to the championship for Preston North End. His spell at Preston however was short lived, as a year later he signed for Scottish side Hibernian.
Horgan became a main player at Hibernian playing over 67 games and scoring six times. The Irishman has had his eyes set on a return to England as he transferred over to newly promoted championship side Wycombe Wanders. He signed on a two year deal for an undisclosed fee.
9 Wes Hoolahan – Cambridge United (Free Transfer)
Arguably Irelands most creative exciting player, Wes Hoolahan at the age of 38 is still eager to play. Hailed as Lionel “Wessi”, the Irishman has been one of the best players to ever play for Norwich City. Hoolahan has played most of his career as a attacking midfielder.
He has played mostly in the Premier League and Championship for Norwich amassing over 323 appearances and 47 goals in a ten year spell. However, since his departure from Norwich in 2018 the midfielder has struggled to find his feet at a new club.
Loan spells at West Brom and A League side Newcastle jets followed. Injuries and lack of game time hampered his progress. Until this summer as Hoolahan signed on a one year deal for League two side Cambridge United on a free transfer.
10 Troy Parrott – Milwall (Undisclosed Loan)
The last two years has seen the young eighteen year-old from Dublin in the spotlight due to his rapid rise through the Tottenham ranks. Hailed as a old head on young shoulders the talented striker already has pressure mounted on him as an answer to Irelands goal scoring woes.
Since his entry into the spurs first team Parrott has struggled to get an appearance’s bouncing between the first team bench and the u23 squad. With Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho openly stating that he isn’t ready yet for senior football this window was an opportunity for game time elsewhere. The young striker turned down a move to Scottish giants Celtic and instead chose Milwall in the championship.
Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane had previous loan spells at Milwall, and its understood Parrott asked his opinion over the move. Ultimately this was the deciding factor as Parrott put pen to paper and signed this window on a one year loan deal for an undisclosed fee.