Manchester City goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu has been ruled out of the Republic of Ireland’s three remaining Nations League games this month.
The 20-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Sky Bet League One Portsmouth, missed Saturday’s 1-0 defeat in Armenia after failing to overcome a back injury and has now been withdrawn from Stephen Kenny’s 27-man squad for the home games against Ukraine and Scotland and the return against Ukraine in Lodz, Poland.
Liverpool’s Caoimhin Kelleher deputised in Yerevan with Bournemouth’s Mark Travers providing the back-up, and James Talbot from Bohemians has been called up to replace Bazunu.
A Football Association of Ireland statement said: “Bohemians goalkeeper James Talbot has been called into the Republic of Ireland squad for the UEFA Nations League fixtures against Ukraine and Scotland.
“Gavin Bazunu has been ruled out of the three matches with a back injury which came kept him out of the 1-0 defeat to Armenia on Saturday and the Bohemians goalkeeper Talbot will report for camp ahead of Monday’s training session at the FAI National Training Centre.”
Carabao Cup-winner Kelleher started his third successive Ireland game – Bazunu sat out March’s friendlies against Belgium and Lithuania through illness – at the Republican Stadium, but finished on the losing side as Eduard Spertsyan fired Armenia to victory with a 25-yard piledriver.
The defeat extended Ireland’s run without a Nations League win to 11 games – a record they need to address urgently against beaten World Cup play-off finalists Ukraine at the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday evening if they are to fulfil Kenny’s ambition of topping their League B group.
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