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Harry Redknapp: Irish youngster Ryan Manning is 'star in the making'


Ryan Manning

Ryan Manning

Ryan Manning

QPR boss Harry Redknapp believes he has a potential star on his hands in the form of new Irish signing Ryan Manning.

The teenager, whose goals helped Galway FC - now called Galway United - win promotion to the Premier Division for next season and he was also involved with the Irish U19 side.

Top flight clubs in England such as QPR, Everton and Tottenham were tracking the 19-year-old with significant interest from Championship teams as well, and Manning had a number of potential offers.


But a pre-Christmas meeting with boss Redknapp and Rangers' U21 team coach Les Ferdinand convinced Manning that his future lay at Loftus Road and he's now agreed a two-and- a-half year deal, worth an estimated €150,000, though Galway United will not get all of the fee as the cash will be shared among Manning's previous clubs.

"Ryan is a young lad who has been chased by a number of top clubs in the Premier League. We have managed to secure him and bring him here, so we're delighted with that," said Redknapp after the deal was sealed

"He is a busy player who can play off the left or in behind the striker. He is still young and has a lot to learn but it's a good gamble for us to take.

"I think he feels he has got a real chance of playing for us here, and hopefully he will progress with us. We're certainly pleased to have him," added Redknapp. Manning says his plan is to use the rest of this season to get to grips with life in England and bed in with the QPR U21 side and then make a push for a first-team place next term.

"The opportunity for me to progress as a player at a club like QPR is something I'm really looking forward to doing," he says.

"I have some catching up to do. In my head I have put the first six months to getting used to the set-up, the full-time training and all that. By the start of next season I hope to really push on.

"I'm just delighted to be here and can't wait to get started."

The teenager now faces into the challenge of proving himself at an English Premier League club - something that has been difficult for past exports from the League of Ireland to achieve.

Players like Keith Fahey, Kevin Doyle, David Forde and Stephen Ward have made the grade at Premier League and international level having left the LOI in recent seasons - but they all signed for clubs who were in the Championship at the time.

Only David Meyler (Cork City to Sunderland), Seamus Coleman (Sligo Rovers to Everton) and James McClean (Derry City to Wigan) managed to make an immediate impact in the English top flight after leaving their Irish clubs though others like Daryl Muprhy (then Sunderland) and Jay O'Shea (Birmingham City) did manage Premier League appearances but are now playing outside of the top flight.

Kevin Long joined Burnley from Cork City in 2010 but he had to wait until this month for his Premier League debut, and recent exports such as Seán Maguire (Waterford United to West Ham) and Brian Lenihan (Cork City to Hull City) are still awaiting their Premier League debuts in England.