Whilst everybody occupies themselves with the news that Gareth Bale is now the worlds best player, the Premier League’s other surprise starlet has carried on unnoticed. Seamus Coleman has been a breath of fresh air at Everton this season and his reward could be a first international cap against Norway this week.
It’s funny how differently his career has progressed to that of the current man-of-the-moment. Whilst Bale impressed as a youngster at Southampton and always looked destined for big things, Coleman was plucked from Irish Premier League side Sligo Rovers, who on Sunday contested the final of the Ford FAI Cup. A stark contrast to where Coleman was; terrorising the Arsenal back four at Goodison Park.
His rise to first team football hasn’t been a smooth transition by any means. A lack of opportunities resulted in a stint out on loan to Blackpool last season. But after helping the Tangerines win promotion to the top flight, he has now made himself a regular fixture in David Moyes’ starting 11 and has since signed a long-term contract.
Similar to Bale, the 22-year-old has been most effective this season operating as a winger despite playing as a full back most of his career, but that is just about where the similarities end. The Tottenham star’s recent exposure has come as a direct result of his assertive play; running past world-class full backs for fun and scoring goals strikers would be proud of. Remember Inter Milan?
Coleman prefers a more low-key approach to the game but he still has that unpredictable aspect to his game which all quality wingers need. Moyes has often suggested that the Donegal man missed out on a football apprenticeship due to his roots in the Irish game and we are yet to see the best of him.
You also get the feeling that with Coleman, there is no ego waiting to implode as soon as the media start to marvel at his ability. Bale has done well to keep his feet on the ground as apparently ever major club in Europe is now courting him, but the same could not be said for other prominent youngsters coming through at clubs like the Toffees and Spurs.
Coleman is now learning his trade, albeit in the spotlight of the Premier League. It won’t be all smooth sailing as mistakes will be made and lessons will be learnt; the best league in the world can also be the most unforgiving.
But if recent performances are anything to go by, Everton and Republic of Ireland have a real prospect on their hands. Coleman was quoted as saying playing for his country this week would be ‘surreal’ but it is no more than he has deserved. Bale’s recent elevation to ‘world-class’ can only go to prove that it can happen, and there is no reason to suggest that Seamus Coleman won’t be next.