Everton, Paris St Germain, the League of Ireland and a tidy profit


Just when Everton fans thought the press furore around the pursuit of John Stones had died down, it is another one of their star defenders that is now being linked with a move away.

Seamus Coleman, a potential target of Manchester United, is reported to be the subject of interest from Paris St Germain.

The Express are reporting that Les Parisiens are preparing a £20m bid for the full-back in a move that could see the Toffees mop up a tidy profit.

Like Stones, who could go from a £3m purchase to a £35m sale, the Irishman would signal a hefty mark-up from his original price.

Bought for a fee of around £60k from Sligo Rovers in 2009, a sale for the figure mooted would equate to a 33,000 per cent mark-up on the 28-capped international.

But he wouldn’t be the first player to arrive from the League of Ireland to make an English top-flight club a wedge.

A whole host of players have been picked up after starting their senior career on the Emerald Isle and sold on for a pretty penny after a switch to England.

Recently the likes of Shane Long (bought for £66k, sold for £4.5m) and Kevin Doyle (bought for £78k, sold for £6.5m) has seen Reading reap the rewards from a solid scouting base across the Irish Sea.


Hull City’s David Meyler made 10 appearances for Cork City in the top flight in Ireland before Sunderland snapped him up for £250,000.

He may not have scaled the heights of other imports, but with a fee rumoured to be around £1.5m received on his switch to the Tigers, the Wearside outfit got a solid return on their outlay.

Even before the dawning of the Premier League, a couple of the best about made the hop from playing the likes of St Pat’s Athletic and Galway United to taking on Arsenal and Chelsea.

Steve Staunton was a snip at just £20k when Kenny Dalglish brought him from Dundalk to Liverpool in 1986.

The defender made such an impact that in 1991, Aston Villa shelled out a cool £1.1m on him, a 5,400 per cent profit on their original purchase price.

A total of 220 games later at the heart of the Villa defence and Liverpool were getting a second dose of Staunton for next to nothing, when he rejoined on a free transfer.


But the best import from across the water, and probably one of the best players in Premier League history, Roy Keane, goes down as the biggest success story in this scenario.

Bought by Nottingham Forest for just £47k from Cobh Ramblers, the hard-hitting midfielder went about repaying Brian Clough’s faith in him at the City Ground.

His performances earned him the Players’ Player of the Season in 1992-93, as the big boys began to circle.

A relegation release clause in his contract brought about the end to his Forest career, but that didn’t stop the Midlands outfit squeezing out a British record transfer fee for him of £3.75m.

While his fee was huge at the time, the impact he went on to have at Manchester United would be worth every penny, as the midfield general went about guiding the Red Devils to multiple trophies in his 12-year spell at the club.

While Coleman hasn’t had quite the spell at Everton as the likes of Keane did in his time in the Premier League, the financial implications he could have on the Merseyside club are immense.

As the conveyor belt of Irish imports making more big moves begins to whir into life, we just need to keep or eyes out for the next bargain arrival from Sligo Rovers or Cork City.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.