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Why the soccer January sales have been so quiet - especially for the Boys in Green

Newcastle's Jeff Hendrick

Newcastle's Jeff Hendrick

John Brennan

Football’s January transfer window has been open for seven days now and nothing much seems to have changed for the many top-notch young Irish footballers who inhabit both Stephen Kenny’s senior panel and Jim Crawford’s Under-21 crew.

Only one Irish player has made a move yet and that is Aaron Connolly, going down a division as he leaves Premier League Brighton to head for Championship side Middlesbrough in search of time on the pitch.

Doubtless more Irish lads will change clubs, or go out on loan, between now and January 31 st, but how many of them will be upward moves, where our footballers advance their careers and so help the work that the two international managers are trying to do.

There’s a belief around that you cannot get good players in January – that loan players rarely work out or that players you sign take too long to settle in, to find houses and get their families settled and schools sorted for their kids.

By the time all that is done with a January purchase, it is often the middle of March and the season is almost over.

Well Manchester United signed Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Bruno Fernandes in the first month of the year, and Liverpool signed Luis Suarez and Virgil van Dijk in January. None of that quintet worked out too badly.

Liverpool don’t seem interested to try for a hat-trick of January signings this season, even though they have key players at the African Cup of Nations, and may lose their Brazilian stars, Alisson and Roberto Firmino, for a week at the end of January because of re-arranged South American World Cup qualifiers.

Unless Jurgen Klopp is playing Jack Charlton’s famous ‘silly buggers’ in telling us that he isn’t signing anyone, Liverpool look like they are happy to go on with what they have.

Newcastle United, newly-backed by their Saudi Arabian owners, will certainly buy as the Magpies try to fly away from the relegation zone.

They’ve already done a tasty bit of business is getting England full-back Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid for £12million and are being linked with other players almost daily – Everton’s Lucas Digne being the latest.

However the Newcastle spending spree will almost certainly see Ireland’s Jeff Hendrick moved on, again probably to a Championship club as Irish players just continue to find playing time in the top flight elusive.

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