Ireland under-21 international Jack Byrne’s stay at Blackburn Rovers looks appears to be coming to a premature end.
Big things were expected of the Manchester City midfielder when he made the season-long move to Owen Coyle’s side in the summer, especially having earned rave reviews in the Eredivisie with Cambuur last season, but it it hasn’t gone at all to plan.
The young prospect has made just four appearances for the Championship outfit this season, and hasn’t featured at all since August as Rovers battle against relegation.
He will therefore be sent back to Man City this month, where he will either remain part of the youth set-up at the Premier League club, or be sent out on loan again for the remainder of the season.
Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, Coyle spoke highly of Byrne’s ability as a player and a prospect, but insisted that it is important for his development that he gets the match time that he has not been able to get at Ewood Park:
“I have had dialogue with Manchester City over Jack Byrne who we know is a very talented player.
“He will have a terrific career but I think it’s important Jack gets some game-time and he’s not had that of late.
“To be fair he has been ill over Christmas. The likelihood is that Jack will return to Manchester City and get some game-time, whether that be with another loan spell or in the youth teams.”
The spell at Blackburn has caused Byrne’s progress to stagnate somewhat. Prior to the loan move in the summer, the youngster was beginning to knock on the door of Martin O’Neill’s senior Ireland squad. While he has plenty of time to get back to that level, and surpass it, the momentum behind him will now have to start again from scratch.