Bailey Peacock-Farrell ready for championship as Gavin Whyte gets chance to prove Cardiff’s worth
Two lower league teams are interested in loaning Bailey Peacock-Farrell out after the Northern Ireland goalkeeper once again downgraded the pecking order to Burnley.
he 24-year-old joined Premier League club Leeds United in 2019 but, behind Nick Pope and Joe Hart, did not play a single minute for the senior side in his debut season.
Following Hart’s move to Tottenham last summer, Peacock-Farrell was at least entitled to his Clarets debut, making four Premier League and four Cup games and regularly named to the bench as Pope’s direct replacement.
Now, however, boss Sean Dyche has decided to bring in former Wolves goalie Wayne Hennessey.
This means Peacock-Farrell will be cleared to go on loan, with Birmingham City and Sheffield Wednesday both being interested. On the Championship side, City are the favorites to secure their serves, a league above Wednesday, although Burnley and Peacock-Farrell will want to be assured they play ahead of former Premier League stopper Neil Etheridge.
Elsewhere in England’s second tier, Gavin Whyte could have a chance to prove his worth at Cardiff City.
The Northern Ireland winger spent the second half of last season on loan at Hull City, where he scored four goals in 20 Ligue 1 appearances to help the club promote themselves.
It was thought his future might be far from the Bluebirds, but boss Mick McCarthy opened the door after Whyte scored the game-winning goal in Tuesday’s friendly against Forest Green Rovers.
“Some are interested in taking it on loan,” McCarthy told WalesOnline.
“But like I told them all, let’s take a look at it first and we’ll see what happens.
“In terms of who we’re going to play and what other players we have, like returning Rubin Colwill, will Isaac Vassell be in good shape? Is Mark Harris going to do it this season? Isaak Davies, who would have done his debut on the last game [of the season against Rotherham] but for injuries Josh Murphy will come back, we have Ryan Giles playing upstairs.
“So it’s a question of whether he’s going to have playing time.
“I said to everyone, let’s see first, let’s take a look at it and then we’ll decide.”
In a move already confirmed, North Ireland international Shane Ferguson will prove to be the ideal candidate for Rotherham United, insists boss Paul Warne.
The 47-cap international, who turned 30 just over a week ago, was a free agent who did not see his contract extended by Millwall, and signed a two-year contract.
He was a fan favorite at The New Den, making over 200 appearances during his six-year stint, after signing in 2015 from Newcastle United, where he also had loan spells with Birmingham and Rangers.
Ferguson, who has the option of an additional 12 months with the Millers, was part of the Northern Ireland squad in the Euro 2016 final in France.
Rotherham boss Warne is thrilled to have finalized the deal and believes the all-rounder Ferguson can play a key role as the Millers aim for an early return to the championship after relegation last season.
“I wanted a little bit of strength on the left side and Shane, with his ability to play in three different positions – left-back, left-back, left-winger – is a perfect addition,” he said.
“I had a Zoom call with him and really liked him. I like the fact that he’s played internationally and played in big games.
“He did really well at Millwall. All the work and due diligence that we did was really good and I just thought he would come, be a good competitor for everyone on that side and improve us.
“Everything seems to take longer unless you just want to throw ridiculous money on people. I think a lot of transfers for a lot of clubs in that window – although there are a few in our league that recruit very quickly and aggressively – take longer.
“I know the player had other options and we are very lucky that he finally chose us.”
Sunderland, meanwhile, is keeping an eye on Manchester United and Northern Ireland youngster Ethan Galbraith.
The 20-year-old, who made his international debut in a friendly against Luxembourg in 2019, is currently attending United’s pre-season training camp in Surrey but is expected to leave on loan to acquire some experience.
He will join some familiar faces if he joins the Black Cats, with new signing Corry Evans, Will Grigg, Tom Flanagan and Carl Winchester already at the club.