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Goalkeepers’ competition is a net gain for Ireland manager Stephen Kenny

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Gavin Bazunu has established himself as first-choice goalkeeper under Stephen Kenny. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Gavin Bazunu has established himself as first-choice goalkeeper under Stephen Kenny. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Gavin Bazunu has established himself as first-choice goalkeeper under Stephen Kenny. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Stephen Kenny admits he has a selection headache between his three in-form goalkeepers for next month’s Nations League series.

While Caoimhín Kelleher could come into camp next week with a Champions League medal, Kenny has expressed his desire to see Gavin Bazunu – back at Manchester City from a loan spell – to be playing in the Premier League.

Bazunu (20) has established himself as first-choice ’keeper under Kenny, but Liverpool’s Kelleher impressed when deputising for the injured Bazunu in the March internationals, while Mark Travers is also in Kenny’s thoughts after a superb season with promotion-winning Bournemouth.

“It is a dilemma and one we’ll have to consider. There’s genuine competition there and they’re the sort of headaches we want,” Kenny said after he named his 27-man squad for the four Nations League matches.

“The three goalkeepers have done brilliantly. Gavin was exceptional in the campaign, really exceptional. Caoimhín has come and played for Liverpool at that level. Mark has just played every week for a team that has got promoted to the Premier League. These are not easy selections, I must confess

“We need Gavin to play, whether that’s in the Championship. There has been talk of the Premier League. If he played regularly in the Premier League, that would be brilliant. If he’s playing in the Championship that would still be a good move for him, for how old he is. To play every week would be ideal for him.”

Kenny also offered a recall to striker Michael Obafemi, who has not been capped at senior level since his debut back in 2018.

“As a young player, he’s learning all of the time and I’m hoping he can make a full contribution in this window,” Kenny said.

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