West Brom defender Dara O’Shea made his debut for Ireland on Wednesday night in a 1-0 loss to Finland in the UEFA Nations League.
The 21-year-old has played every minute of the Baggies’ Premier League season and his early season form earned him a call-up to the Ireland Under-21s.
But O’Shea was promoted to the senior squad after it was ravaged by coronavirus cases and injuries, and he was thrown straight into the starting 11 on Wednesday evening.
O’Shea impressed in the first half and the scores remained level at half time. But after the break, Finland opened the scoring through Fredrik Jensen after a poor attempt at playing out from the back from Ireland keeper Darren Randolph.
It was unfortunate that O’Shea couldn’t keep a clean sheet on his debut, but he still put in a good performance in his first game as a senior Ireland player.
The performance will give Baggies fans confidence in their young defender going forward, as he still has a lot of time to develop into a great player and winning his first senior cap is a huge milestone for his development.
Some fans took to social media to praise the maturity shown by the young defender while others liked the enthusiasm O’Shea showed in the early stages.
Here is how some Irish fans reacted to O’Shea’s performance:
Dara O’Shea playing like a guy with 50 caps. Very composed.
— Irish Football Pics (@irish_pics) October 14, 2020
HT 0-0. Familiar pattern, Ireland playing well but haven't really looked like scoring. Aaron Connolly probably their best player, we need to get him a bit closer to goal. Really assured debut so far from Dara O'Shea. Hourihane (understandably) looking leggy in midfield.
— Gavin Cooney (@gcooney93) October 14, 2020
Great to see an Ireland team get it down and pass the ball all the same. Dara O’Shea excellent that half. Looking forward to Aaron Connolly’s second-half hat-trick!! #FINIRL ☘️
— Bernard O'Toole (@BernardOToole) October 14, 2020
That was terrific defending from Dara O’Shea. Cut off the channel for Pukki to slide it into, then read the ball across the box to block. Top performance from the lad so far.
— Cian Carroll (@CianByNature) October 14, 2020
Breaking down off Hendrick all evening. ⚽️🇮🇪
Young guns Dara O’Shea Jayson Molumby Aaron Connolly all doing well.
— Alan Cawley (@alancaw) October 14, 2020
Really like the look of Dara O’Shea first half hour 👏⚽️🇮🇪 #FINIRL
— Phelim Warren (@Freewheeler12) October 14, 2020
Dara O'Shea announces himself on the international stage with a nice clearing header on the halfway line that leaves just the right amount on Jensen – beautifully done. #COYBIG
— Tommy Rooney (@TomasORuanaidh) October 14, 2020
In other West Brom news, a potential new Baggies signing will have a medical on Thursday according to a journalist.