Which Irish players need a move in January?

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The transfer window reopens on January 1st, 2021.

The transfer window allows out of favour/young players a chance to secure a move away from their clubs onto greener pastures, whether it be permanently or temporarily. Some Irish players have struggled for game time so far this season. The reopening of the transfer window in January may lead to first team opportunities for those players, dependant on the right move.

Players will have a month to secure a move with the window closing again at the end of the January.

In a window that is sure to see movement between clubs, here are some Irish players which may benefit:

JAYSON MOLUMBY – BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION

After his impressive loan spell at Millwall last season, many expected Jayson Molumby to take up a role as squad player at Brighton. So far, that’s not been the case.

The midfielder has received limited first team minutes for his club this season. His appearances have mainly come in cup competitions, with just one appearance off the bench in the Premier League.

At international level, things have been more positive for Molumby. He made his debut in September and has since gone on to earn 5 caps. It will, however, be difficult for him to solidify himself as a starter for Ireland without first team minutes under his belt.

A loan move would be perfect for Molumby at this stage of his development. Another move to the Championship may be beneficial for the Waterford man.

Millwall were rumoured to be interested in taking him for a second loan spell at the beginning of the season however nothing materialized. Perhaps a move to the Lions in January is on the horizon?

RYAN MANNING – SWANSEA

Although Manning only moved to Swansea in October, he may well be vying for a move in January. The left back has only made 3 appearances since joining the Swans having left QPR – where he was a regular starter – over an apparent dispute over wages.

Manning had arguably his best season yet during 2019-20, playing a part in 41 Championship games and registering a number of goal contributions. He was linked with a number of Premier League clubs, but Swansea captured his signature in the end. A move which Manning is likely regretting.

He looks unlikely to displace current starting left back Jake Bidwell as it stands, meaning a move away from the club may be needed.

Swansea are unlikely to let Manning go for less than they paid for him – £2.16 million – meaning suitors may be limited. A loan move could be a possibility; however Swansea may want to keep him at the club as a backup option.

Either way, it’s clear that Manning needs improved playing time.

MICHAEL OBAFEMI – SOUTHAMPTON

Michael Obafemi’s omission from recent Ireland squads have upset certain sections of the Irish support, particularly given the limited striking options.

The Southampton academy graduate had his best season to date last term, netting against both Manchester United and Chelsea. However, this season he’s struggled for playing time in the first team. In fact, he has played just 13 minutes of Premier League football this season.

His minutes aren’t likely to change anytime soon, either. Southampton are in exceedingly good form, meaning Obafemi is unlikely to displace their current starting strikers.

His lack of playing time at club level will do him no favours in terms of making his way into future international squads.

A loan move to a Championship or lower Premier League club may be just what Obafemi needs at this stage. Southampton obviously see a future for the striker so a permanent transfer away seems unlikely.

SHANE LONG – SOUTHAMPTON

Shane Long is another Southampton striker in need of first team opportunities. Once one of Ireland’s best players, Long’s status has dropped over the years due to his decreased playtime.

At 33 years of age, Long is in/approaching the twilight of his career. He has been a great servant to Southampton over the years, but it may be time for a move.

Long hasn’t been included in an Ireland squad since October despite being one of the most experienced players available.

A transfer would be ideal for the Tipperary man. A host of Championship or lower Premier Division clubs should be lining up for the services of long.

Long played for West Brom for 3 years at the start of the decade and there’s every chance they could make a move for the striker in January. His Premier League experience could be just what the club need to avoid relegation.

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