Championship leaders Preston North End have been dealt a massive blow as top goalscorer Will Keane was taken off with an injury during a game with the Republic of Ireland last night.
Stephen Kenny’s men travelled to the Parc des Princes to take on two-time World Cup champions France in the UEFA EURO 2024 qualifiers on Thursday. Didier Deschamps’ side came away with a routine 2-0 win, maintaining their perfect record so far in the qualifying campaign after five games.
Norwich City striker Adam Idah led the line for the Boys in Green but had little impact up top and was replaced in the 67th minute by Preston’s Will Keane who is the joint-top scorer in England’s second division this season with four goals to his name.
Unfortunately, just eleven minutes later, Keane dropped to the floor and was swiftly replaced by Hull City’s Aaron Connolly who has scored three goals this season himself, making him the joint-sixth highest scorer in the league.
The 30-year-old has had a tremendous start to life at Deepdale but could now spend the next few weeks on the sidelines. Ireland head coach Kenny revealed that Keane’s injury looks like an abductor problem while also providing an update on Stoke City star Enda Stevens who was taken off at half time for Wrexham’s James McClean.
Speaking after the defeat, Kenny said [via the Lancashire Evening Post]:
“Enda looks like a calf injury and Will an abductor so we’ll have to see.
“It wouldn’t be looking good for either of them in short proximity of course. At this stage, we’d have to say it’s extremely unlikely they will be involved [on Sunday against The Netherlands].”
It was Keane who scored the brace against Stoke last weekend in a 2-0 win to put Ryan Lowe’s side top of the Championship and so Preston fans will be gutted by the news, hoping that the injury isn’t as serious as it seems.
If the Irishman tore his abductor, it could mean he will be out of action until at least December which will be a huge blow for the Lilywhites’ hopes of keeping their spot on the summit of the table.