Impressive Euro 2020 performer tonight was once on trial at Celtic

By Euan Davidson

June 12, 2021

Before we delve into any further Euro 2020 chat, it’s important to address the horror that we all witnessed in Denmark’s game against Finland.

Just before half-time, Eriksen collapsed, and was given CPR on the pitch. The Inter Milan star is now awake and responsive [BBC], with the midfielder able to FaceTime his teammates, who subsequently continued with the game after a substantial break.

Like the whole football family, we wish Eriksen a speedy recovery. The highest praise is also due to the paramedics, the referee Anthony Taylor, the players and the fans. It was a harrowing sight for anyone to watch, and it’s nothing but an utter relief that Eriksen is recovering and already responsive.

You might’ve heard an Irish name during Denmark v Finland

As for the game itself, you might’ve heard an Irish name representing Finland. Daniel O’Shaughnessy, a centre-back with an Irish father and a Finnish mother, constituted one of three central defenders for the Fins. Enjoying their first major tournament, the Finnish team fought valiantly, chasing a famous debut win at Euro 2020.

O’Shaughnessy, currently with Helsinki side HJK, has spent some time on these shores. The Finland international was signed by Brentford in 2014, but failed to make the grade. Loan spells with FC Midtjylland and Braintree Town followed, before a permanent move to Cheltenham Town. O’Shaughnessy also spent time in France, with Metz.

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Now, what does any of this have to do with us? Well, funnily enough, O’Shaughnessy was once on trial with the Hoops. According to Talksport, the Finnish defender also had spells on trial with Manchester United and Liverpool. All three clubs were impressed with the youngster, interesting scouts with his performances in the 2008 Nike Cup while at FC Honka 93.

O’Shaughnessy battles Harry Arter of the Republic of Ireland in 2020 / (Photo By Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

O’Shaughnessy impresses for Finland

And a fine job he did too, in Finland’s first Euros bout. In a match where football seems secondary, it won’t have bee a remotely enjoyable night for any of the Denmark or Finland squads. Yet, some credit is due to the Finland side, who battled through difficult circumstances to win 1-0 on the night.

On a personal level, O’Shaughnessy completed 3 tackles, winning 3 aerial duels and completing 72% of his passes [WhoScored?]. As major tournament debuts go, it’s extremely impressive.

Now, we’re not suggest Celtic missed out big time here. There are plenty of things to criticise the club for; deciding not to sign a guy who was playing for Cheltenham relatively recently isn’t one of them. But at the very least, it’s some interesting background on an unusual name in the context of a Finland game.

Whether he had any patter about Lennoxtown to share with Teemu Pukki is, as yet, unconfirmed.

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