Bandon's Conor Hourihane joins John Egan at Sheffield United

Midfielder has agreed to a loan move from Aston Villa
Bandon's Conor Hourihane joins John Egan at Sheffield United

Conor Hourihane during a Republic of Ireland training session at PGA Catalunya Resort in Girona, Spain. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

CONOR Hourihane will join his fellow Corkonian John Egan at Sheffield United after agreeing a season-long loan from Aston Villa.

The Bandon midfielder returns to the Championship with the Blades after spending the second half of last season on loan at Swansea City, where he scored five goals on their run to the play-off final.

He completed his medical at United's Shirecliffe training complex on Monday before joining up with the Republic of Ireland squad for their World Cup qualifier away to Portugal.

Barnsley's Alex Mowatt and Swansea City's Conor Hourihane in action during the Sky Bet Championship playoff semi-final last season. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire.
Barnsley's Alex Mowatt and Swansea City's Conor Hourihane in action during the Sky Bet Championship playoff semi-final last season. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

He could make his Bramall Lane debut against Peterborough on Saturday week as Sheffield United bid for a first league win of the season. Two draws and three losses have left them 23rd in the table and Hourihane will hope to add goals to an attack that has mustered just one in those five games.

"I'm delighted to be here and cannot wait to get started," said Hourihane.

I've played against Sheffield United a few times and it is an exciting club to be involved in.

"The manager here (Slaviša Jokanović) has a great reputation in the Championship, his Fulham team beat us in a play-off final a couple of years ago and I'm looking forward to working with him."

Hourihane joins Egan as well as injured Ireland defender Enda Stevens and retired Ireland striker David McGoldrick at the club, where he will wear the number 24 shirt.

He will bring extensive Championship know-how, having played in three of the last four play-off finals, losing to Fulham with Villa in 2018 and beating Derby in 2019 before the 2021 loss to Brentford with Swansea.

He was a regular in the Premier League with Villa during the 2019-20 season before losing his place after the loan signing of Ross Barkley the following season.

He captained Villa for their 6-0 EFL Cup victory over Barrow last week but has not seen Premier League action this season.

As well as his 151 Villa appearances, Hourihane played over 100 games for Plymouth Argyle and Barnsley, who he led to promotion from League One in 2016.

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