Date: 2nd September 2017 at 4:06pm
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A lot of Town fans believe that we once again missed the boat on transfer deadline day by not bringing in an experienced centre half and instead gambling on a young kid from Everton.

That said however, it was not for the want of trying and had Brighton managed to find a replacement for Connor Goldson when their original attempts to sign Club Brugge defender Stefano Denswil fell through, then Goldson would be a Town player now.

He came to Portman Road and passed a medical, only for Seagulls manager Chris Hughton to pull the plug on the deal at the last moment. And I thought Mick and Chris were the best of mates?

Next on the Town must-have list was Nottingham Forest`s Jack Hobbs but although the 29 year old was said to be interested in a loan move, his club were not and that possibility did not even get off the ground.

The current central defensive crisis is a big one with skipper Luke Chambers, Tommy Smith and Adam Webster all out of action at present.

The need for an experienced central defender was deemed to be of paramount importance, as at the moment the Blues are playing with four wing backs in defence!

In the end, Ipswich went for someone they have apparently been tracking for 18 months and anything but the experienced centre back we were all hoping for.

What then of our new season long loan from Everton, the 19 year old Callum Connelly? Will he be another Conor Grant – or can we hope for something a little more rewarding?

Here then is the assessment of John Raftery, who has been a season ticket holder at Goodison Park since they days of Alex Young and has has hardly missed a game since!

I have seen Callum Connolly play several times for our under 23 team. He has also made one appearance as a substitute in the first team in the last month of Roberto Martinez’s reign in 2016.

He can play either in full back position or in the middle of the back line. So Joe Royle is right in that he is certainly very versatile.

He has also represented his country at all the age groups up to under 20, at which level he was one of five Everton players in the squad which won the under 20 World Cup this summer.

He featured in the first game of that tournament but got outpaced a few times and lost his place to Kyle Walker-Peters of Spurs for the subsequent six games. He is 20 later this month so now is the time when he needs to get some extensive first team experience.

He had a spell at Wigan last season, when he made a good impression apparently, clocking up 17 appearances and scoring a couple of goals early on.

Will he make it at top level? I have my doubts. His best position seems to be left back or left central defence but I am not sure he has the key ingredients of pace and speed of thought; coupled with the quality which the modern game demands.

He seems a determined character though and it will be interesting to see how he does in a team near the top of the Championship which as you know is a really tough league.

For me he looks just a little short at this stage. One thing is for sure; he will give everything to the cause.

David Unsworth, who is the under 23 coach, has put a lot of emphasis on his players working hard to win games as well as develop their individual games.

My overall conclusion therefore is he will not let anyone down but I don’t think he will set the world alight.

So now we know.

Frank Weston – Editor of Vital Ipswich


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