Arsenal loanee Jordan McEneff made his Shelbourne debut and his competitive debut in senior football on Friday against St. Patrick’s Athletic.
Arsenal loaned academy midfielder Jordan McEneff out to Shelbourne FC after the English January transfer window closed, sending him to the Irish Premier League until the end of June 2022.
McEneff had just recently returned to fitness with the Arsenal u23s, and he’ll now hope to get a run of games going on loan.
The 21-year-old had to wait for the league to kick off their season first, which they did on Friday night. McEneff made the bench for Shelbourne as they hosted St. Patrick’s Athletic.
The former Republic of Ireland u17 international ended up coming on for the final 30 minutes.
Though his team slipped to a 3-0 defeat, it was a milestone for McEneff, his first appearance in competitive senior football.
“Dan Carr has obviously missed a lot so he’s still, I guess, getting up to speed,” Shelbourne boss Damien Duff said afterwards.
“Jordan McEneff, on loan from Arsenal, has missed quite a bit more.
“It was good for them to know that they absolutely belong here and to believe and go back out and give more if possible because we’re fit enough to do it.”
McEneff has certainly had real problems with injuries in the last couple of years. He’d only made one appearance since October 2020 before leaving on loan.
The youngster extended his contract last year, in a move that was highly praised by his agency.
“With his contract due to expire this summer, Per and Arsenal have moved to extend Jordan’s deal to give him time to get physically right,” Integrity Sports Ltd wrote on social media in 2021.
“Such duty of care and general kindness is rarely seen in the business of elite sport.
“Whether Jordan goes onto become a first-team player at the Emirates in the short term or not, Arsenal have shown incredible class to look after the best interests of a young player that has huge potential.
“Big thank you to Per Mertesacker and Arsenal for taking care of one of Ireland’s biggest young talents so, so well since the moment [he] joined the club.”
McEneff’s time with Arsenal now looks to be at an end, with his new deal expiring this summer – at the end of his loan. But we’ll see what the next few months bring.