Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy has been talking up the prospects of Aston Villa owned striker Scott Hogan this week. As reported on the FAI website, McCarthy was clearly impressed with how Hogan has started life at his latest loan club.
“Scott has really got himself back into the picture for Slovakia with his goals for Birmingham and his finish on Saturday was top class.”
Hogan is indeed with Aston Villa’s biggest rivals Birmingham City. The eight-cap international is in fine form, with four goals in six games, taking his overall tally this season to seven goals.. It seems such performances could result in an international reprieve, where Hogan would look to finally score his first goal for the Republic of Ireland.
It is the third time the 27-year-old has left Aston Villa since Steve Bruce snapped him up from Brentford in 2017. That deal cost a reported (BBC) £12 million.
Injuries and a lack of form hampered Hogan’s Villa Park progress. Hogan spent the end of last season getting promoted with Sheffield United before being loaned out to Stoke City in the summer. That move did not go to plan and he was sent to St Andrew’s in January after falling out of the first-team picture at the bet365 Stadium.
When he left for the Potteries at the start of the season, Hogan spoke of his dismay at how his Villa Park tenure had gone, as reported by The Telegraph.
“It was a difficult time and I didn’t enjoy one bit of it. I just didn’t fit in. It’s not enjoyable going in everyday when you are not playing or are not in the squad.
“I was guilty of losing my hunger a little bit when I got my move to Villa and all that went with it. But it’s taught me a lot. I have to use it as a learning curve and get back to where I was.”
But now he might have Aston Villa fans wondering if he should have been recalled and kept on in January.
Despite his difficulties since arriving at Bodymoor Heath, Hogan’s current scoring form would have been a massive help in Aston Villa’s fight against relegation.
Instead, he is helping Aston Villa’s nearest rivals extend clear of relegation trouble and even cling on to a distant play-off dream.