The Pros and Cons: Could Aiden McGeady shine at sunny Sevilla?

La Liga club reportedly interested in Ireland winger and Raf Diallo looks at the challenges if it were to happen

BY Raf Diallo 14:24 Sunday 31 January 2016, 14:24 31 Jan 2016

Ireland's Aiden McGeady ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

By the time, the January transfer window closes definitely tomorrow, Aidan McGeady better have moved away from Everton on loan.

The club are happy to let him leave temporarily for the remainder of the season as he is surplus to requirements. 

But more importantly, the Glasgow-born winger needs as many minutes under his belt as he possibly can ahead of Euro 2016.

Ireland manager Martin O'Neill had touched on his case when he spoke to Off The Ball as we celebrated qualification in November, telling Ger Gilroy that, "we owe an awful lot to Aiden McGeady... but players do need time on the field because it is important for fitness and important for confidence and if you're doing well, the higher up you're playing in, obviously the more confident you're going to be coming into a tournament if you get picked."  

That message was not just aimed at McGeady, but to any players struggling to get minutes, like his Everton team-mate Darron Gibson, who is also due to move out on loan.

With Celtic and some Championship clubs not appearing to be options for McGeady due to a host of distinct reasons.

Interestingly though, La Liga side Sevilla appeared close to sealing a loan move for the winger and it is intriguing to see if he could have been a success if such a surprise move to the reigning Europa League champions were to happen - although it appears Sheffield Wednesday could steal a march.

The Pros

McGeady has played outside of the UK before, having spent four years at Russian league record champions Spartak Moscow until he made the move to Everton exactly two years.

Thus, moving abroad is not as big an undertaking as it would be for those without that requisite life experience.

Of course, it goes without saying that "abroad" is not one big place as lifestyle and culture in Spain and Russia are vastly different in those aspects.

Sevilla is a city I know well personally having lived there on an Erasmus year during the 2008-09 La Liga season and the often year-round good weather, food and social life is attractive for anyone.

The language could well be an issue but for a temporary move, the aid of a translator does not make it insurmountable.

Spartak Moscow Emmanuel Emenike, left, jokes with his teammates Aiden McGeady, center, and Demy de Zeeuw, second right, at the Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012. FC Barcelona will play against Spartak Moscow in a group G Champions League soccer match on Wednesday Sept. 19. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

On the footballing side, Sevilla's interest in McGeady is believed to stem from manager Unai Emery, who managed him at Spartak briefly between July and November 2012 - a spell which saw McGeady score three times and six 90 minute appearances in an injury-hit period.

Also, Sevilla is a club which has had a long tradition of favouring its wingers, going back as far as current club captain Jose Antonio Reyes in his first and second spells at the club.

Even going back to the 2008-09 season, you would watch the ball played up to then centre-forward Freddy Kanoute, who would then spread the ball out wide to now-City right winger Jesus Navas or Diego Capel on the opposite flank.

Currently, Ukraine international Yehvan Konoplyanka, Spain cap Vitolo, Reyes and ex-Chelsea youngster Gael Kakuta are the wide options. Denmark international Michael Krohn-Dehli can also play out wide.

Queens Park Rangers' David Hoilett (left) battles for the ball with Everton's Seamus Coleman and Aiden McGeady (right) during the Barclays Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool (Picture by: Peter Byrne / PA Archive/PA Images)

The Cons

If breaking into the current Everton side is a problem for McGeady, then Sevilla won't be any easier.

This is a side that featured in the Champions League group stages earlier this season through their Europa League-winning exploits and are a regular Top 6 side in Spain in recent years.

Konoplyanka, who arrived in the summer and has five goals and  eight assists in 28 domestic and European games this season, remains the lead option on the left wing.

Reyes appears less regularly given his age of 32 and has increasingly become a "bit-part player" at his beloved home-town club, which gives McGeady hope.

However, on the right side, Vitolo has made the joint-most appearances for Sevilla this season, which means McGeady is likely to have to try and start off as an impact player before trying to dislodge one of Konoplyanka and Vitolo before season's end.

More likely, the fact that Sevilla are involved in Europa League, Copa del Rey and La Liga action means there could be more rotation to prevent fatigue which provides another ray of hope if he can adapt quickly.

But the danger is if game-time does not come easy in the first three months, the 29-year-old could feel a little out of sight, out of mind in the run-in to the naming of Ireland's Euro 2016 squad.

Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week