Sunderland defender John O’Shea has described team-mate James McClean as a “special player” and believes he will be a key man for the Republic of Ireland for at least the next decade.

O’Shea, speaking to RTÉ Radio, hailed McClean’s impact at the Premier League club and feels the former Derry City winger has proved to Giovanni Trapattoni that he is good enough to claim a place in the Euro 2012 squad.

He said: “He is going the right way about it and doing his talking on the pitch. If the manager does pick him all well and good.

"To be able to cope with coming from the League of Ireland and not having a break, because he had a full season with Derry, and to carry on and kick on, shows how good he is.

“It is not just mentally, but physically as well. He has been able to cope with the demands of the Premier League. He has been a special player for us. It is an exciting thing for the fans to be talking about and to be seeing him playing the way he has been in the Premier League.

"The manager has his squad in mind and James is going the right away about it to get a chance of going to the Euros."