Brentford manager Dean Smith has been speaking very highly of Ireland international defender John Egan.
The 24-year-old has had a highly promising debut with the Bees in the Championship after joining from League One side Gillingham, and was rewarded for his fine form by being handed his first international cap by Martin O’Neill in a friendly against Iceland in March of this year.
Although the season ended on something of a disappointment for the Cork native as he saw his spot at the back taken by Yoann Barbet, Smith has nonetheless paid tribute to Egan when speaking to GetWestLondon, and he believes that the former Sunderland centre-half could be a future captain of the team:
“There’s a lot of promise there and he’ll be frustrated he’s not in the team. There’s a leader in John Egan.
“You can see it every day with his attitude around the place. He’s one that other players look up to and he’s got better and better. I’ve said before all the centre-half pairings can play in this league.”
Egan was named in the Ireland squad for the upcoming trio of matches, friendlies against Mexico and Uruguay and a World Cup qualifier against Austria, and while he probably starting in the latter, he has every chance of appearing either in the first friendly in New Jersey, or in the fixture at the Aviva three days later.
In any event, with competition for places at centre-back increased with the welcoming of Kevin Long into the international fold, Egan will have to keep improving if he wants to have a chance of usurping Ciaran Clark or Shane Duffy in the first-choice central partnership.
On the Mixer Irish Football Podcast this week, we’re joined by Galway United manager Shane Keegan, we react to Martin O’Neill’s latest Ireland squad, plus the usual discussion of League of Ireland matters.