Back in May, former Ireland striker David Connolly spoke of his view that near namesake Aaron Connolly is already at a crossroads in his fledgling career.

The 22-year-old Galwegian was coming off the back of a half-season loan at Middlesbrough in the Championship that ultimately proved frustrating - injury niggles having an impact - and his status at parent club Brighton has become uncertain.

The question mark was where the eight-time Ireland cap would end up for this season and possibly beyond.

But last week that was answered when Serie B club Venezia made the surprise announcement that the forward will be calling Italy home for the 2022-23 campaign.

The loan move means Connolly becomes the sixth Irish player to sign for an Italian club over the last 18 months and there will be intrigue to see if he can reignite the fire that sparked a famous brace against Tottenham in 2019 during his time at a club relegated from Serie A at the end of last season.

Former Ireland, Blackburn and Burnley midfielder Keith Treacy shared his view on the unexpected move on this week's RTÉ Soccer Podcast.

"I see two sides to this sword. Going away and getting away from England is great because I played in England and it's very intense.

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Keith Treacy and Conan Byrne joined Raf Diallo and Rob Wright this week to talk Ireland players on the move, European games for Shamrock Rovers, Sligo Rovers and St Pat's and the Women's Euro 2022 knockout stage.

"I am speaking from the outside here but it just seems to me that when you come away from the top divisions in Spain, Italy, Germany etc, it seems to be a little less intense.

"But the Championship, although the quality comes down technically a little bit, the intensity is just the same.

"When you go to restaurants and cities, it's everywhere so Aaron Connolly going away it might be a little bit less stressful for him and bring a little bit of love back into it.

"There are lovely surroundings over (in Venice) and it might just kickstart a bit of love in him.

"But the one thing for me, I had offers while I was playing to go away to foreign countries and I was always a little bit tentative because it's very easy to be forgotten over there.

"He could go over there and play seven out of 10 most weeks but he'll be forgotten. He needs to go over there and stand out. He has to be one of the top players every week in the team because if not it's very easy to be forgotten."

Treacy added the style of play at Venezia could suit him more than the Championship but feels the onus is on the player to grasp the opportunity.

"It's going to be down to him now. I would be putting the ball firmly in his court and saying, 'Aaron, this could go both ways. You're at a junction in your career now when you really need to hit the accelerator' and like I said this could go both ways so it's a big, big 12 months coming up for Aaron and for Ireland I hope it goes well."

Connolly will be aiming to work his way back up the Boys in Green forward pecking order and ex-Shelbourne and St Patrick's Athletic midfielder Conan Byrne said there is no time to lose at Venezia.

"He needs to hit the grounding. I think he's only got seven senior goals in his career over the last number of years and for a striker that's not really good enough, especially for international football," he said.

"I do think the move is big considering he's packing up and moving abroad to a different country, new language, new culture. It'll be a whole new experience for him so even off the pitch, it's how will he take to that and is he mature enough now at 22-years-of-age to do that on his own. But it's what he does on the pitch that Stephen Kenny will be looking at closely."

Watch Ludogorets v Shamrock Rovers in the Champions League second qualifying round live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player on Tuesday, kick-off 6.45pm. Follow live blog on RTÉ News app and on

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