Every single club in existence has a player they regret letting go. And for Sunderland, John Egan’s rapid rise must have fans ripping their hair out in frustration.
After all, Egan was never given a chance to prove himself at the Stadium of Light and when he was released without ever making a first-team appearance for the Black Cats, few expected at the time that this would come back to haunt them.
But, via spells at Gillingham and Brentford, Egan is now an establishing himself as a Premier League defender worth every penny of his £4 million price-tag at the heart of a well-drilled Sheffield United side (Sky Sports).
And, just in case Sunderland fans had any hair left, it has now been confirmed that Egan will captain the Republic of Ireland for the very first time during Tuesday night’s friendly clash against Bulgaria.
"I like everything about him," ROI boss Mick McCarthy, a man who coached Sunderland between 2003 and 2006, told the Irish Independent.
Combining his natural physical gifts with an underrated technical ability, Egan has started all four of Sheffield United’s games since they returned to the Premier League after a 12 year absence earlier in the year.
All the while, Sunderland are stuck in the third tier, an error-prone backline ruining their hopes of promotion at the end of a gruelling 2018/19 season.
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