Leeds midfielder, Eunan O’Kane, has been named in Martin O’Neil’s provisional Ireland squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Iceland this month.
United’s summer arrival from Premier League side Bournemouth is one of thirteen Championship players to be named in the 39-man provisional squad ahead of their crucial World Cup qualifiers, and will hope to be involved in the final squad of 23 and feature in the couple of games later this month. O’Kane, who has made five appearances for his country, failed to make O’Neil’s Euro 2016 squad- despite making his debut as a substitute in a 1-0 win over Switzerland earlier on in the year.
Although O’Kane was born in Northern Ireland and represented them at under 16 to under 21 level, he chose to change his allegiances in 2012 after finding under 21 appearances for Northern Ireland hard to come by. He began to make his breakthrough in the Ireland first team, after featuring regularly at under 21 level, in 2016 and made four appearances before missing out on Ireland’s European display. However, he returned to the squad as an unused substitute in a friendly against Oman last August.
While O’Kane was involved in the Oman friendly, he managed to sign for Leeds on a two-year deal on the same day; making the switch from Bournemouth for an undisclosed fee on deadline day. The central midfielder has featured 17 times this season for The Whites, rotating with Ronaldo Vieria and Kalvin Phillips frequently in the starting XI. He came on as a second half substitute for Vieria in the 79th minute on Saturday , however he failed to provide an impact during his short cameo in the 0-0 draw against QPR.
O’Kane will hope that he becomes a regular for both Leeds and Ireland sooner rather than later, however being named in the 39-man provisional squad means he has still got a chance to prove himself on the international stage.