Tuesday 12 December 2017

Martin O'Neill's hopes of adding to his Ireland striking options take a blow

Hogan's sparkling form at Brentford earned him a £12m move to Aston Villa in last month’s transfer window. Photo: Harry Murphy/Getty Images
Hogan's sparkling form at Brentford earned him a £12m move to Aston Villa in last month’s transfer window. Photo: Harry Murphy/Getty Images
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Martin O’Neill may have to shelve any fresh moves to add Scott Hogan to his Republic of Ireland squad ahead of next month’s vital World Cup qualifier against Wales after the Aston Villa suffered a bad ankle injury on Monday night.

Ireland-qualified Hogan was stretchered off in the closing stages of Villa’s 2-0 defeat at Newcastle, with his manager Steven Bruce offering a less than upbeat assessment of his possible return date.

“It doesn’t look great,” confirmed Bruce. “We’ve seen the video evidence that he’s definitely turned over his ankle.

“We won’t know the full extend until we get him scanned in the next 24-48 hours.

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it’s not serious. It’s been a miserable night as it and that would compound the misery.”

Hogan has been mentioned as a possible contender to earn a call-up to the Ireland side for several months, with his sparkling scoring form at Brentford earning him a £12m move to Villa in last month’s transfer window.

He has failed to open his scoring account for Villa in his first four games for the club and now looks set for an extended spell in the treatment room, in what will be a worrying development for a Villa side rapidly sliding towards the relegation zone in the Championship.

Ireland boss O’Neill has expressed interest in recruiting Hogan, despite an apparent reluctance from the 24-year-old Manchester-born forward to commit to the Irish cause.

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