Middlesbrough man Paddy McNair is only 26 but has today told Northern Irish media (via Sussex Live) that it is ‘madness’ to think he has been involved in his country’s set up for so long and that he may have even better times in front of him as a footballer.
It feels like a lifetime ago that the midfielder made his debut at former club Manchester United way back in 2014 and after spending two years at Old Trafford, he decided to seek out pastures new in pursuit of regular action.
He ended up at struggling Sunderland, where he managed to make 28 appearances and score seven goals for the Black Cats before ultimately being allowed to join Boro.
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It’s since his move to Middlesbrough that he has finally begun to thrive. With over 100 games to his name and nine goals, he has emerged as an important member of the squad and a vital cog in the centre of the field.
His emergence as a solid player in the EFL has also led to him getting regular action for his country. With 49 appearances for his side, he could earn his 50th cap during the current international break – and McNair believes the best is still yet to come too.
Speaking about his future and Northern Ireland career, he said: “Everyone always says how quickly your career passes by and it definitely does. I’ve been in the squad for seven years so it’s madness.
“I remember my first cap really well. I’m only 26 so I feel like my best years are ahead of me in a Northern Ireland shirt.”