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Connolly Urged To Consider Move Away From Brighton If He Wants To Be Ireland Leading Forward


Former Irish international David Connolly believes that his namesake Aaron Connolly may need to consider a move away from Brighton if he is to become the Republic of Ireland’s leading forward

Aaron Connolly had a couple of good chances to score against Portugal

Aaron Connolly had a couple of good chances to score against Portugal.

The Galway attacker played 72 minutes of Wednesday night’s 2-1 World Cup qualifying defeat to Portugal before being replaced by James McClean after picking up a knock. He missed a number of presentable chances during his time on the field while he also had a penalty appeal turned down when the visitors were 1-0 ahead.

Now David Connolly, who scored nine times in 41 appearances for the Republic of Ireland, believes that the 21-year-old may have to consider looking elsewhere to ensure that he is the main man up front for Stephen Kenny.

“I think it’s tough because I saw Aaron come on against Watford, I was at the Amex working on the game,” Connolly told 2fm’s Game On.

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“He had a decent chance in that game which he should have taken as well.

“A lot of that comes down to playing regularly. I know Troy Parrott is going to get that (at MK Dons) but obviously it’s not in the Premier League and for Aaron, I think he is going to struggle to play regularly in the Premier League.

“Also for Aaron, whenever I’ve seen him come off the bench, I’m not too sure he’s a great player when he comes off the bench in terms of his impact.

“Aaron seems to be the type of player who believes he should be starting every game, which is fine to have that inner confidence and belief, but at times I’ve seen him come on as if he is unhappy that he is coming off the bench, like he should be starting.”

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While Neal Maupay, Leandro Trossard, Andi Zeqiri and Alexis MacAllister have all been handed starts in attacking positions for Brighton this season, Connolly’s contribution has been limited to a 45-minute cameo against Watford.

David Connolly doesn’t see the situation changing any time soon, either.

“His issue is that he’s not going to start for Graham Potter, I don’t think. I think Graham likes him but I don’t know if he is going to start him regularly enough.

“I think he, at some point, will have to move to get the game time. The chance he missed against Watford was not too dissimilar to the one he missed last night.

“I know there might have been a little push in the back but maybe he could have pulled the trigger, you cannot replicate game time and match sharpness.

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“Not everyone is a (Cristiano) Ronaldo and certainly when Aaron is playing and he is fit and he is playing week, in week out, he could be Ireland’s goal-getter.

“It’s going to be very difficult for Stephen to keep picking him when he’s not getting game time.

“That’s the challenge and it will always be the challenge, finding the next Robbie Keane, someone who is going to be playing regularly, scoring goals. That is a huge issue.”