Friday 19 January 2018

Bees ace Hogan buzzing amid talk of Irish call-up

Scott Hogan
Scott Hogan

A call to arms for next month's World Cup qualifiers is too soon, but Martin O'Neill is likely to up his interest in Brentford striker Scott Hogan following a stunning run of form from the highly-rated forward.

With six goals in eight league games for the Bees, most recently a hat-trick against Aiden McGeady's Preston last weekend, the focus is back on the uncapped Hogan and his international ambitions, with Niall Quinn among the figures talking up this 24-year-old.

Hogan is eligible for Ireland but a bid in 2014 by Noel King to bring him on board with the U21 squad, when Hogan was playing for League Two side Rochdale, ran into trouble when there was an issue with clearing the paperwork needed.

After moving to Brentford for £750,000 in August 2014, Hogan missed the guts of two seasons with a knee injury and only returned to fitness with the Bees at the end of last season. Hogan admitted he was flattered that Roy Keane went to watch him play for the Bees at the end of last season. "If Roy Keane rang me up, I couldn't say no to Roy Keane. He is one of my heroes," he said at the time.

He has remained on Martin O'Neill's radar. "He's another one who's come to the fore. He looks like he's got a little bit of pace as well," O'Neill said of Hogan just after Euro 2016.

Niall Quinn has encouraged Keane to recruit Hogan. "One of the things that Roy brings to the job is his reputation in the world of football. If we have a highly promising striker who is eligible to play for us in a position where we could use re-enforcement and he may go weak at the knees if Roy calls, get it done," Quinn said.

O'Neill is due in Dublin on Friday to name his squad for next month's World Cup double header and is likely to field questions about his pursuit of Hogan.

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