Sunderland boss Roy Keane admits red-tape has saved him a massive selection headache.
"There was a possibility of Roy going to Scotland (Dundee United), but because he had already played in Ireland and here this year, the rules blocked it," explained the Irishman, who paid Cork City £670,000 to bring O'Donovan to Sunderland this summer.
"But in hindsight, it's a good thing because we need him here. I made a mistake last season when I let players go out on loan and it left us short in one or two games. With the injuries we've got, I'm delighted he's still here."