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Republic of Ireland defender Dara O’Shea on Burnley move

Republic of Ireland defender Dara O’Shea on Burnley move

Burnley snapped up the Republic of Ireland centre-back on a four-year deal for a reported £7million fee.

O’Shea made 41 appearances last season for West Brom and captained the side in Jake Livermore’s absence.

The 24-year-old admits leaving the Baggies wasn’t easy but is excited to work with Vincent Kompany in East Lancashire.

“I kind of rumblings at the end of last season and it’s been ongoing for a couple of weeks. When you’re in the moment it feels like ages, so I’m happy to be here now,” he said.

“It’s a no-brainer to come and work under someone like (Kompany). His career as a footballer was outstanding and he’s someone I would have looked up to coming through.

“I’m really excited to be here and I want to learn a lot for him and his coaching staff.

“I’ve been at West Brom for eight years. I have come through since I was 16 and done really well for myself there. It was a huge decision to make the move but I think it’s one that is best for me and my career.”

He added: “I want to improve as a player, first and foremost, and I want to help the club achieve their goals and be a competitive team in the Premier League.

“I’m at the stage of my career where I want to push myself and try to be the best that I can be. This is the club that can help me do that, and I can help them.”

The defender featured in both games against the Clarets last season and was impressed with what Kompany’s side achieved.

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He is already familiar with Josh Cullen and Michael Obafemi from their time together on international duty.

O’Shea, who featured in the European Championship qualifiers against Greece and Gibraltar last week, says the pair were a key factor in his decision to join the club.

Lancashire Telegraph: O'Shea has already experienced Premier League footballO’Shea has already experienced Premier League football (Image: PA)

“Burnley were the outstanding team last season and they achieved exceptional things,” he continued. “That is down to a lot of what was going down on the training ground here.

“I spoke to Josh and Michael, I know them both quite well. I could see how good of a project it is here and speaking to them, I understand it came hand-in-hand with how well they did last season.

“I’ve been speaking to them both quietly in the corner, just kind of seeing how things were at the club and letting them know there was a possibility of me coming here. They were a big factor in me coming here as well.”

The Dublin-born centre-back has been sports mad since a young age but actually grew up playing Gaelic football.

O’Shea believes it helped him become the player he is today, teaching him important traits in the modern game.

“I played it until a couple of weeks before I joined West Brom,” he recalled. “That was a big part of my upbringing and shaped me into the player I am today.

“It gave me that aggressive and ruthless side. I am really proud of my roots.

The Clarets are preparing for life back in the top flight after securing promotion from the Championship at the first time of asking.

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O’Shea had a taste of Premier League football at West Brom during the 2020/21 campaign, playing nearly 30 games despite his youth.

While the Baggies were ultimately relegated that season, the 24-year-old took a lot from the experience.

“Since we dropped out of the Premier League, it has always been an aim of mine to get back there and unfortunately it didn’t happen for West Brom,” he stated. “But I’m here now in the position I am.

“My time there really pushed me on, I saw the potential of what I could progress to. It’s the best league in the world and you want to play against the best players.

“Each week you are playing against top-class players and I think that’s really the difference.

“You are playing against some great managers, who set up differently to ways you might see in the Championship. You want to test yourself against the best opponents.”

It doesn’t get much bigger than Burnley’s first game of the upcoming season when they host treble winners Manchester City.

“I saw the first fixture,” O’Shea grinned. “They are the games you want to play in. As a footballer, that’s what you want to test yourself against.”

  • June 25, 2023