MX23RW : Sunday, June 13 18:43:42| >> :600:439193:439193:

Shayne Lavery not thinking about returning to English football

The 20-year-old joined Linfield on a one-year deal in the summer after being released by Everton.

Northern Ireland striker Shayne Lavery insisted his move to the Irish League is not a step back as he said he has no thoughts of immediately targeting a return to England.

The 20-year-old joined Linfield on a one-year deal in the summer after being released by Everton, and has made an immediate impact with four goals in nine games, including a memorable brace against Qarabag in the Europa League qualifiers.

His form – coupled with an injury for Paul Smyth – has earned him a return to Michael O'Neill's Northern Ireland squad for the upcoming games against Luxembourg and Germany, and left the impression his spell in the Irish League could be a short one.

"I'm not really thinking about it at all," said Lavery, who earned his only cap to date against Panama last year.

"I'm not thinking about January or next summer, I'm just taking it game-by-game.

"I don't see it as a step back at all. It's just good to be back playing football again and showing people what I can do."

Lavery signed for Everton as a 16-year-old but never made a senior appearance.

View this post on Instagram

Great win last night 💙⚽️

A post shared by Shayne Lavery (@shaynelavery98) on

After struggling for game time with the under-23 side, he joined Falkirk on loan last season but also found himself on the fringes there, prompting a move back home in the summer.

Northern Ireland's record goalscorer David Healy was quick to snap him up for Linfield and has been quickly rewarded.

The highlight so far was unquestionably his second goal of the first leg against Qarabag, when he dispossessed a defender on the halfway line and raced towards goal, neatly cutting inside another man before curling a shot inside the far post.

Lavery said it was the best goal of his career to date, though he struggled to enjoy it at the time.

"I just remember being completely wrecked after the game, I couldn't really stand," he said.

"But it was nice to get two goals, especially it being the play-offs and the (standard) of opposition against us."

Defender Michael Smith and winger Jordan Jones are out of O'Neill's squad through injury, the manager has confirmed.

Smith has a hamstring injury which ruled him out of Hearts' 2-2 draw with Hamilton on Saturday, while Rangers' Jones left Ibrox on crutches after Sunday's 2-0 Old Firm derby loss to Celtic.

ID:370298: cacheID:370298:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:12115:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Kyle Lafferty in action for Rangers in December 2018
Read Next:
Kyle Lafferty left out of Northern Ireland squad for Euro qualifier

rhs 2.0
Euro 2020 fixtures
Sunday, June 13, 2021
Monday, June 14, 2021
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Thursday, June 17, 2021
Todays Game Header Right
CManchester CityMan City38275683325186
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd382111673442974
5Leicester CityLeicester382061268501866
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham381981162471565
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs381881268452362
9Leeds UnitedLeeds38185156254859
11Aston Villa38167155546955
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174662-1645
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38129173652-1645
14Crystal Palace38128184166-2544
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914154046-641
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom38511223576-4126
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3872292063-4323

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!