Sheffield United midfielder Oliver Norwood looks set to continue into June, after Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill revealed he does not expect to have Norwood available for the nations two Euro 2020 qualifiers that month against Estonia and Belarus.
Norwood was absent from the Northern Ireland squad for this international break, as O’Neill’s side beat the same two sides to go top of their group after the opening two games.
The Star report that ahead of the fixtures, O’Neill had revealed that Norwood had asked not to be included in the squad for “personal reasons”, but had added that he hoped Norwood would be: “back with us if not in June, certainly by September”.
Now however, the situation appears to have changed, as the same report quotes O’Neill speaking about Norwood after the two games, saying: “I don’t expect Oliver to be available for the games in June.”
It has not been revealed what personal reasons are behind Norwood’s international exile, but they have not stopped him appearing for Sheffield United, and he expected to be available for the visit of Bristol City to Bramall Lane on Saturday.
It is difficult to discuss Norwood’s absence until the reasons become clear, though it is both possible and understandable that they may never become clear.
Norwood has however been an important figure in Sheffield United’s promotion push this campaign, so they will hope he continues to be available for them at least.