Stephen Kenny has named goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu in his starting line-up for this evening's Qatar World Cup 2022 qualifier against Luxembourg in the Aviva Stadium.
The 19-year-old Dubliner joined Manchester City from Shamrock Rovers in 2018 and is currently on loan with League One side Rochdale.
He is one of three changes to the starting XI as James Collins comes in for the injured Aaron Connolly. Jason Knight comes into the midfield.
extratime.com understands that making a senior international appearance in a competitive game will earn Shamrock Rovers an additional fee from Manchester City as that was part of the package negotiated between the clubs.
Last week, Kenny called Bazunu “a brilliant young prospect” when talking about the goalkeeping talent available to him.
The Ireland boss has brought Bazunu into his team to make his international debut at the expense of Mark Travers who drew some criticism for his display in the Republic of Ireland’s 3-2 defeat in Serbia during the week.
The Bournemouth ‘keeper, who lined out with Shamrock Roves’ under-17 team, is currently on loan with Swindon.
As a 16-year-old Bazunu played four league games for Shamrock Rovers (without conceding a goal) and two Europa League qualifiers marking him out as an exceptional talent. He was signed by Manchester City in 2019 for an initial reported transfer fee of €0.5m.
He has played 27 times in League One this season with a Rochdale side that is currently sitting second from bottom. However, Bazunu has been making eye catching saves and won the club’s player of the month award last month.
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