Seamus Coleman will be vital to Republic of Ireland's chances of enjoying success at Euro 2016, according to former Everton star Kevin Kilbane.
The player-turned-pundit, who is one of only six men to win more than 100 caps for the Boys in Green, believes the creativity of Coleman and fellow full-back Robbie Brady will be vital if Martin O’Neill’s side are to progress further than a difficult group which includes Sweden, Belgium and Italy.
Coleman missed the Toffees’ last six games of the season after sustaining a hamstring injury in mid-April, but returned to action with 90 minutes in his nation’s 1-1 draw with the Netherlands on Friday.
“I think Seamus Coleman and Robbie Brady are our two key players because they’re the two main creative forces in the side. The team will rely on those two to get forward and create chances for the strikers,” Kilbane exclusively told evertonfc.com
. “Seamus was rested for the friendly against Belarus last week and you could see the negative impact it had on the team.
“The same goes for James McCarthy - the pair of them are definitely in the starting line-up when it matters and everyone is available.
"Seamus has been really, really good defensively for Ireland over the last two years or so and he’s improving all of the time.
“At the other end, I think he has always flourished and he’ll relish the diamond formation Martin O’Neill has opted for because it gives him that license to get forward."