Jack Byrne, the Stoke City-linked playmaker who followed Mick McCarthy to Cyprus, has seen McCarthy sacked within hours of making his debut.
Byrne had been linked with a host of Championship clubs including Stoke, Preston and Nottingham Forest after shining at Shamrock Rovers.
But instead he decided to join McCarthy, who gave him his Republic of Ireland debut, at Apoel Nicosia in Cyprus.
He completed his move two days ago and made his first appearance last night – but Apoel lost 2-1 to Doxa and McCarthy has now left the club.
McCarthy had only taken the job in November but this was a fourth defeat on the spin and Apoel are now 20 points behind league leaders Apollon – and one point clear of the relegation zone with two games in hand.
A short statement on the club website said: “APOEL announces the end of its cooperation with coach Mick McCarthy. We wish Mr McCarthy and his assistant Terry Connor good luck.”
Former Manchester City rookie Byrne, now aged 24, had been one of the leading lights in the League of Ireland since joining Michael O’Neill’s old club Shamrock in 2019.
He was a main player as they won the FAI Cup last year and were crowned league champions this year – and was named players’ player of the year in both seasons thanks to his knack of creating and finishing chances – even earning comparisons with Kevin de Bruyne.