Wednesday 22 November 2017

Blow for Martin O'Neill and Ireland as James McCarthy is ruled out of World Cup opener

Republic of Ireland's James McCarthy. Photo: Seb Daly / Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland's James McCarthy. Photo: Seb Daly / Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

James McCarthy is out of Ireland's World Cup qualifier with Serbia on Monday with a groin injury that requires surgery.

McCarthy will miss the trip to Belgrade on account of the setback that will be treated tomorrow.

The injury put an end to any hopes of a move for the Glaswegian before the transfer window closed with his Everton future uncertain.

However, there was better news for Irish team-mates Eunan O'Kane, Jeff Hendrick and Aiden McGeady who all sealed deadline day moves.

Jack Wilshere's surprise loan move to Bournemouth had a knock-on effect for O'Kane who has joined Championship side Leeds on a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

O'Kane was able to complete the switch despite being on international duty but he was an unused sub in Ireland's stroll past Oman in Robbie Keane's farewell.

Hendrick was introduced at half-time after Burnley broke their club record to sign the Dubliner from Derby County for £10.5m and bring him to the Premier League.

McGeady was not part of the Irish squad as the out-of-favour Everton winger stayed behind in the team hotel to finalise a season-long loan move to Preston.

O'Neill welcomed the move. "He had no shirt number at Everton and that's not the best preparation for international football," he said. "If he wants to be fit, he's got to be playing competitive games."

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Irish Independent

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