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Ipswich Town loanee Callum Connolly hoping to catch the eye of employers Everton

PUBLISHED: 14:45 05 September 2017

Ipswich Town have signed teenage Everton defender Callum Connolly on loan for the 2017/18 season.

Ipswich Town have signed teenage Everton defender Callum Connolly on loan for the 2017/18 season.

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Teenager Callum Connolly hopes he can force his way into the first team picture at Everton by catching the eye on loan at Ipswich Town this season.

The versatile 19-year-old – who can play anywhere across the back four – made his Toffees senior debut when replacing Seamus Coleman for a Premier League game at Southampton in April 2016.

Subsequently he played a key role as Everton’s U23s laid down the foundations in a title-winning campaign, spent the second half of last season on loan at Wigan where he impressed, despite the Latics being relegated to League One, then helped England’s Under-20s win the World Cup in South Korea this summer.

Everton have eight players on loan at Championship clubs, with former Town boss Joe Royle (head of youth development at Goodison Park) the man providing feedback on their progress to manager Ronald Koeman. The latter has given significant game time to young quartet Tom Davies, Mason Holgate, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ademola Lookman in recent months, though the latter three were all purchased.

“I still see my future very much at Everton,” Liverpool-born Connolly told Town’s club website, after joining the Blues on a season-long loan late on transfer deadline day. “It’s tough nowadays for younger players to break through at the top cubs because of all the money being spent, so you’ve got to work hard, take your chances when they come and hope for that bit of luck.

“It was so important for me to go out on loan again in order to develop myself as a player and a man. Playing Saturday-Tuesday in the Championship, if picked, will be far more beneficial to me than playing Under-23s football.

“It’s going to be tough being away from family, but this is what I needed to do to progress. Hopefully, after a year I can go back a better player and they will want me for the first team. Making my Everton debut was special and hopefully there will be more days like that to come.”

Connolly added: “I’ve come here to focus on my weaknesses and turn them into positives. I wouldn’t say I’ve got a position – I can play anywhere across the back four. The gaffer (Mick McCarthy) hasn’t said where he wants to play me yet, but I’ll do whatever he asks of me.

“It seems like a really great bunch of lads here and I just can’t wait until Saturday’s game at QPR now.”

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