Arsenal midfielder Dan Crowley is currently impressing out on loan with Barnsley and, should his star continue to rise, will be playing Premier League football in the near future.
The technically gifted teenager is enjoying his first season of professional football and impressing pretty much everyone – his manager recently hailed him as the most gifted player in League 1 – and will be sought after at international level before too long.
As a young player who qualifies to play for Ireland, Crowley will have to decide whether or not he has his heart set on being an England international.
“I spoke to his father and we had a very civil conversation. He’s a very, very pleasant man,” Martin O’Neill said. It’s clear that the wheels are already in motion on Ireland’s side of things, but the choice will be Crowley’s.
“Of course you have meetings and all of that but you would want, as best as possible, for a player not to be forced into something that he might regret further on.
“You want the decision to come from the player, from his family, from his heart.”
Crowley played twice for Ireland at u17 level, having played for England u16s, but has now made 13 England u17 appearances. He is English but qualifies for both nations as his grandparents are Irish.
Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish, who played with Crowley at club level before the midfielder joined Arsenal, is currently under pressure to declare for one of the two nations and looks likely to play for Roy Hodgson’s England in the near future. As a result, you’d expect Ireland to double their efforts when it comes to the Arsenal man.