Friday 23 August 2019

Ireland hopeful Ryan Johansson making strides at Bayern Munich as he is handed a start against Arsenal

Ryan Johansson
Ryan Johansson
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Republic of Ireland hopeful Ryan Johansson continued his encouraging rise at Bayern Munich as he started for the German giants in their International Champions Cup game against Arsenal on Wednesday night.

Luxembourg-born Johansson could also play international football for Sweden, but he has expressed a desire to commit his future to Ireland and his progress in the Bayern ranks could be a welcome boost for Mick McCarthy's national team in the next couple of years.

After a goalless first half, Unai Emery's side took the lead four minutes after the restart when Louis Poznanski diverted Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's cross into his own goal before Robert Lewandowski equalised with a fine header.

The match looked to be heading for a draw but young forward Tyreece John-Jules worked his way down the left side of the Bayern penalty box to cut the ball back for youngster Eddie Nketiah to tap home two minutes from time to hand the Gunners a 2-1 win in Los Angeles.

It was a welcome win for Arsenal and the appearance of 18-year-old Johansson that suggested he is in the thoughts of Bayern coach Niko Kovak as he named a line-up that was a mix of the experienced and youthful with keeper Manuel Neuer, Thiago Alcantara, David Alaba and Thomas Muller among the more established starters.

The first team exposure will be welcome for Johansson, with his mother Christine telling earlier this year that her son wanted to force an international career with Ireland.

"Ryan is very happy to have pledged his international future to Ireland. He really enjoyed his time in Tom Mohan's underage squads," Johansson's mother told this website. "Ryan is really looking forward to continuing to represent the country at international level."

Johansson qualifies to play for Ireland for Ireland through his grandparents, with Christine's mother and father hailing from Clare and Westmeath respectively.

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