Scotland v Republic of Ireland: Five destined for the Premier League

As two of England’s most familiar football foes go head to head, we pick out five players who could be coming to a Premier League side near you.

Ikechi Anya

A graduate of the Glenn Hoddle Academy set up to give young players a second chance at making it as a professional, the winger took the opportunity with both hands, signing with Sevilla’s B team Sevilla Atletico in Spain, where his performances soon caught the attention of La Liga side Granada.

Owned by the Pozzo family, a move to Watford was logical step for the Scotland-born star, but bigger things beckon for the 26-year-old who was previously linked to Celtic with Gordon Strachan recently describing the player as 'too good for the Championship'.

Wes Hoolahan

He may be the ripe old age of 32 but Hoolahan impressed in an otherwise lacklustre campaign for Norwich City last season and could be the subject of some interest in January, as the Canaries have endured a tough start to life in the Championship.

Aston Villa were previously linked with a move for the midfielder, though Norwich ultimately turned down the midfielder’s transfer request. However, with time ticking on and Paul Lambert still in need of midfield reinforcements, don’t be surprised to see a cut-price deal come January.

Scott Brown

The Celtic stalwart has emerged as a surprise January target for Crystal Palace in recent weeks with Neil Warnock reportedly keen on bringing the midfield battler down to London where he could link up with former Hoops teammate Joe Ledley at Selhurst Park.

Though such a move may seem unlikely to some, the fact is that Brown is now 29, around the peak of his powers, and could be tempted to test himself in the Premier League in much the same way Glasgow Rangers captain Barry Ferguson once did.

Alex Pearce

Reading’s highly-rated Wallingford-born defender has been linked with several big Premier League outfits in the past, with Liverpool thought to be chief among the admirers of the 26-year-old centre back who has scored two goals in five appearances for the Republic to date.

Any hopes of a deal for the stopper seemed to fade after Pearce put pen to paper on a new contract with the Royals in the summer of 2013 but much has changed since then and should Reading find themselves ambling towards another indifferent season in the Championship, then Pearce could jump ship.

Chris Martin

The Championship’s top scorer has made no secret of his desire to play in the Premier League next season following a play-off final defeat to Queens Park Rangers last term. While Derby are currently flying high at the top of the second tier things could change come January.

With several struggling Premier League teams on the lookout for goalscorers come the opening of the transfer window, Martin could be the subject of some interest from a couple of top-flight clubs, and a fine showing for Scotland could strengthen his credentials further.

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