Blues seal Unsworth deal

IPSWICH Town manager Joe Royle today strengthened his Coca-Cola Championship challenge with the signing of former England international defender David Unsworth.

IPSWICH Town manager Joe Royle today strengthened his Coca-Cola Championship challenge with the signing of former England international defender David Unsworth.

The 31-year-old will join top-of-the-table Blues next week on a season-long loan from Premiership Portsmouth.

Unsworth was with Everton when Royle was manager at Goodison Park, and was a member of the 1995 FA Cup-winning team.

Speaking from Tenerife this morning Royle expressed his delight. “Our chairman is completing the paperwork, but the player has agreed to sign for us and Portsmouth are also happy to go ahead.


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“David will join us next week and be available for selection for our match at Sheffield United on Saturday week.

“He is an experienced player and will give us more defensive strength for the final 16 games of the season.”

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Unsworth made his name as a central defender, making his one England appearance against Japan at Wembley in June 1995.

But Royle said: “Left-back is where David is set to play, but he can also do a great job for us as a central defender.”

Unsworth's signature follows two other captures Royle has made over the last couple of weeks as he builds his squad up to the strength necessary to gain promotion.

Daniel Karbassiyoon had his loan from Arsenal extended for two months, while Jimmy Juan signed on loan from Monaco for the remainder of the season.

In December Royle paid out his first transfer fee in over two years at Portman Road when he paid Brighton £250,000 for Darren Currie.

Royle also captured rising Canadian star Jaime Peters, who will be available to the club from his 18th birthday in May.

“Signing David will be the last of our loan signings for the season,” said Royle.

Unsworth began his career at Everton and made 108 league starts before joining West Ham in August 1997. He played 32 games for the Hammers before moving to Aston Villa for £3million in June 1998.

Two months later he returned to Everton for the same fee. He made a further 164 league starts for the Merseysiders before joining Portsmouth on a free transfer last July.

Unsworth has played 15 times for Pompey, including their last game, at Chelsea on Saturday.

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