Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Report: Juventus Eyeing Up Uncapped Ireland Defender | Balls.ie

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Irish players in recent years have made a greater impact across Europe as Brexit rules means young Irish players have to look abroad if they want to play their football outside of Ireland. Players like Troy Parrot at Excelsior and Festy Ebosele at Udinese have done well this term but none have stood out more than Jake O’Brien at Lyon.

O’Brien made the move to France from Crystal Palace last summer and in a season that started off in turmoil for the two-time Champions League semifinalists the Corkonian has been a bright spark at the heart of defence.

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O’Brien has scored 4 goals and picked up 2 assists from centre back this season as under new boss Pierre Sage they’ve gone from being at the bottom of the Ligue 1 table in December to now fighting for a European spot. He’s been an ever present at the heart of Lyon’s defence, only missed 1 league match since September, playing in a total of 26 matches in Ligue 1.

Report: Juventus Eye Up Jake O’Brien As A Summer Target

He’s been great in France and while he is still yet to be capped at senior level for Ireland, his form has garnered interest on the continent. In a report by Filippo Cornacchia of Gazzetta dello Sport Jake O’Brien has been listed as one of Juventus’ centre back targets this summer.

‘The Old Lady’ have had a fairly decent season by their standards. They were banned from European competitions and so could only contend in Serie A and the Coppa Italia. Currently under boss Massimiliano Allegri they are fourth and guaranteed Champions League football for next season as the Top 5 in Serie A this season automatically qualify for the competition. They are also in the final of the Coppa Italia where they’ll face Atalanta.

It would be a meteoric rise for O’Brien who began his senior career playing for his hometown club Cork City in the League of Ireland Premier Division in 2019. He then moved to Crystal Palace in 2021 and then going out on loan to Belgian club RWD Molenbeek before moving to Lyon last summer.

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