Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has claimed that Bristol City goalkeeper Max O’Leary is a good prospect and hinted at a potential future call up.
O’Leary is currently on loan at League One side Shrewsbury Town as he looks to gain more first-team experience.
The 23-year-old has been impressive for the Shrews, keeping nine clean sheets and helping them to concede the fewest goals in the bottom half of League One.
With Ireland’s Euro 2020 play-off clash with Slovakia in March looming, McCarthy has been scouting a number of players in English football.
In a scouting report released by the Irish FA, the 61-year-old coach revealed he had been impressed by Southampton’s Shane Long, Portsmouth duo Ronan Curtis and Marcus Harness, and O’Leary.
He said: “Getting to see Max O’Leary was a bonus.
“Max trained with us in Portugal in the summer while he sorted out his paperwork and while he could do nothing about the two goals on Saturday, he looks a good goalkeeping prospect.”
O’Leary was born in England and developed through the City academy, making his first-team debut in 2016.
The 23-year-old has featured 18 times for the Robins in total but has never featured on the international stage at any level.
He was called up to train with the squad by McCarthy in May last year.
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This should be an exciting development for Robins supporters as it shows that they’ve got a really talented player in O’Leary.
When he was brought into the first-team last season he showed his quality and produced some impressive performances.
The 23-year-old has had a strong year at Shrewsbury but you feel he may struggle to contest for a starting place at City due to the performances of Dan Bentley.
It will be interesting to see whether the Robins opt to send him out on loan again next season.