Why I called up Wigan Athletic star - Ireland boss

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has explained his thinking behind giving Will Keane his maiden senior international call-up.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 7:08 pm
Will Keane

The former Manchester United junior represented England at all levels up to Under-21, without winning a senior cap.

And at the age of 28, he's been rewarded for his sparkling form in Latics' early-season charge.

"Will has had a consistent run of games this year - he's probably having one of his best seasons," Kenny told reporters.

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"We managed to see quite a bit of him. He links the play well, he's playing as a second striker at Wigan.

"They were top of the league up to... they got beaten by Sheffield Wednesday, obviously, on Tuesday night - I was at the game.

"He leads the line quite well, and he has an appreciation of players around him, good weight of pass and good vision.

"He can score headed goals, and different types of goals so he's having a good season so far."

Kenny also revealed the call-up was something the player - not he - pushed for.

"To be fair, it's not something that I've initiated," Kenny said. "Will has been qualified for the last couple of years now.

"I did have a conversation with him. I met him after one of the games, and had a good chat with him recently.

"Actually earlier in the season we had a good chat, and then his form has been very consistent.

"I think he had injuries in the last couple of years, and maybe he wasn't playing as consistently.

"He's good to watch, he's a very clever player - good touch, and good awareness. He's an intelligent footballer.

"If he can keep getting the run of games... he seems to be enjoying his football at Wigan, and doing well.

"It is League One, admittedly, but he's impressed. Any time we've gone to see him, he's impressed us. He's been important for them this season."

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