The Leeds United and Northern Ireland favourite Paddy Lane has been compared to as Portsmouth close in on deadline day deal for Fleetwood man

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In Northern Ireland footballing circles, it’s a comparison that would ultimately be seen as a huge compliment.

And, no doubt, anyone of a Leeds persuasion would view it in equally glowing terms.

That’s because potential new-boy Paddy Lane has been been likened to firm Green & White Army and United favourite Stuart Dallas.

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The comparison was made by former Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough, who handed the 21-year-old his senior international debut against Hungary last March.

That outing – the first of two caps – came less than a year after Lane made the switch from Northern Premier League side Hyde United to Fleetwood and his days working at Sainsbury’s.

A route not too dissimilar to the one taken by Dallas, whose current eight-year stay at Elland Road was preceded by spells at part-timers Coagh United and Irish League top-flight side Crusaders.

Since arriving at Leeds in 2015 via Brentford for a fee in the region of £1.3m, the now 31-year-old has amassed more than 250 appearances for the Premier League side and taken his number of appearances for his country to 62.

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Dallas’ never-say-die attitude, energy, determination and versatility has clearly served him well and enhanced his longevity.

Paddy Lane is reportedly closing in on a deadline day move to Pompey     Picture: Charles McQuillan/Getty ImagesPaddy Lane is reportedly closing in on a deadline day move to Pompey     Picture: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images
Paddy Lane is reportedly closing in on a deadline day move to Pompey Picture: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

And they’re qualities Baraclough spotted in Lane as he sought ways to rejuvenate an aging Northern Ireland squad before his departure in October.

Speaking about the left-sided player to the Belfast Telegraph after his international bow last March, Baraclough said: ‘I thought Paddy was very good at left-wing back. He dealt with it very well. In possession he was neat and tidy and he was up against a difficult opponent and acquitted himself very well.

‘For Paddy making his debut I decided probably late Sunday night/Monday morning because of the way he worked and trained. He was ready and he showed no fear.

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‘He is someone who has come from non-league football and risen very quickly to an international footballer and he can be very proud of what he has done. Now he has to kick on.

Stuart Dallas has made more than 250 appearances for Leeds United    Picture: George Wood/Getty ImagesStuart Dallas has made more than 250 appearances for Leeds United    Picture: George Wood/Getty Images
Stuart Dallas has made more than 250 appearances for Leeds United Picture: George Wood/Getty Images

‘I see a lot in him what we saw in Stuart Dallas when he left Crusaders to go to Brentford.

‘Hopefully that is not heaping a load on his shoulders. He has the same type of body build, he has great athleticism, is decent on the ball and he showed a calm head and personality to play the way he did against Hungary.

‘I hope that Stuart Dallas comparison doesn’t put massive weight on his shoulders but I see a lot of similarities.’

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Baraclough admitted he seen potential in Lane from an early age and was determined to get him involved in the Northern Ireland set-up as soon as possible. The Halifax-born ace is eligible to feature for Engand, Wales and the Republic of Ireland.

That saw the former Hyde United and Farsley Celtic player handed runouts for the under-21 side at Windsor Park, before his senior international call-up last year.

‘Paddy went on loan to Farsley Celtic and he could have been playing for Wales and the Republic of Ireland,’ added Baraclough.

‘When I spoke to him and his father I said to him “I could see him coming into the under-21s so come and join us, the pathway is there for you”. He has grasped it and taken his opportunity and he has done himself no harm.

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‘I remember I was on holiday with the kids in Devon and I was talking to his father on the phone and said we will go for him.

‘He was someone we were really excited to get in and he made an impact with our under-21s and got in the Fleetwood team probably before he expected and has scored five or six goals this season from a midfield area. He started off playing on the right side of a three so he has shown he has got versatility and he handled things against Hungary very well.’