Saturday 18 November 2017

Arter absence raises fears about Ireland availability

'If McCarthy (above) is included in Ireland’s final squad, he would be obliged to report to Dublin to be assessed by medical staff but Koeman would be miffed by that.' Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
'If McCarthy (above) is included in Ireland’s final squad, he would be obliged to report to Dublin to be assessed by medical staff but Koeman would be miffed by that.' Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Harry Arter is now a major doubt for Ireland's World Cup qualifiers with Moldova and Wales after it was confirmed he will miss Bournemouth's Premier League date with Leicester today.

The midfielder is suffering with an Achilles problem and has not been involved with Eddie Howe's squad in the preparations for the game.

"The problem isn't a serious one, but he is injured and hasn't trained with the group this week," said his manager.

There is still time for the midfielder to prove his well-being and he will be expected to report for duty in Dublin next week but it's a concern for Martin O'Neill who must plan without Robbie Brady and James McClean for the Moldova game.

Arter is not a guaranteed starter, of course, and he was dropped for the Aviva Stadium defeat against Serbia after struggling in the draw with Georgia in Tbilisi.

O'Neill should also have Jeff Hendrick available again after he missed the September double-header due to an untimely setback. Hendrick tends to play when available.

The prospect of James McCarthy linking up with the panel appears remote with his manager Ronald Koeman of the opinion that the Glaswegian needs to get minutes under his belt with his club's U-23 side.

Koeman revealed that McCarthy returned to first-team training with Everton yesterday.

"He did the first part of the session today but not the rest of it," said the Everton manager. "He needs game time first with the U-23s. That's how players need to come back from a long time out injured."

If McCarthy is included in Ireland's final squad, he would be obliged to report to Dublin to be assessed by medical staff but Koeman would be miffed by that.

Meanwhile, talented Shamrock Rovers player Trevor Clarke has been named in Noel King's U-21 squad for their competitive double-header with Norway and Israel in Tallaght Stadium.

Cork City defender Ryan Delaney, Galway's Rory Hale and Derry's Ronan Curtis also make the cut.

Promising West Ham starlet Declan Rice is included again, while Aston Villa's Jake Doyle-Hayes and Brighton's Dessie Hutchinson have been drafted in.

Ireland are looking to build on opening wins over Kosovo and Azerbaijan.

Irish Independent

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