John O’Shea may not have been the most high-profile of footballers, but he became a cult figure at Manchester United.
Adept in a range of positions, the centre-back/full-back/midfielder even rocked up in goal for the Red Devils on one occasion.
The phrase jack-of-all-trades was invented for a player like O’Shea. But United could soon have another versatile Irishman in the first-team squad.
Lee O’Connor may only be 18, but he was called up by Martin O’Neill for the Republic of Ireland’s clash with Denmark in November.
Having captained his country at under-19 level, it was a natural progression. But it still came quicker than some expected.
United recently sold Ro-Shaun Williams to Shrewsbury in a surprising move.
But O’Connor’s presence may explain why the Red Devils were willing to part with the speedy defender.
After all, O’Connor is a more than able alternative, who has racked up 21 appearances for the under-23s.
Prior to that, he scored three goals and provided five assists in 39 under-18 matches.
O’Connor’s second string outings have come in a range of positions, including centre-back, left-back, and right-back.
Whether he could ultimately have the same impact as O’Shea remains to be seen. But there is no doubt United have another talented Irishman on their hands.