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Will Everton loanee Callum Connolly go straight into the Ipswich Town team tomorrow?

PUBLISHED: 12:28 08 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:07 08 September 2017

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

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

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Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy has hinted that new boy Callum Connolly could go straight into his side for tomorrow’s Championship game at QPR.

The Blues boss was left scrambling to sign the 19-year-old on a season-long loan from Everton late on transfer deadline day after Brighton pulled the plug on a temporary deal for centre-back Connor Goldson.

Connolly, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Wigan and was part of England’s Under-20 World Cup winning squad this summer, has been hailed as ‘Mr Versatile’ by former Town boss Joe Royle, the man in charge of youth development at the Toffees.

The right-footed Liverpudlian teenager can play anywhere across the back four, as a wing-back or even in central midfield and himself has admitted he doesn’t really have a position.

“I’d seen him play for Wigan and thought he was excellent at full-back,” said McCarthy. “He can also play in a three at the back.

“He scored a few goals at Wigan and I remember we had to take care of him at corners because he’s a real threat.

“Since he’s come in I like him even more. He’s a very capable footballer, competitive and he has a great attitude to it. He’s endeared himself to me even more since arriving.”

With all three senior centre-backs injured, McCarthy has fielded a back four made up entirely of full-backs for the recent games against Brentford (2-0 home win) and Fulham (2-0 home defeat) – Dominic Iorfa and Myles Kenlock on the right and left respectively, with Jordan Spence and Jonas Knudsen moving inside.

Skipper Luke Chambers (ankle) is pushing for a return in next weekend’s home game against Bolton, but Tommy Smith (hamstring) and Adam Webster (ankle) aren’t due back until after the international break at the end of this month, with five games to play before then.

“Callum provides me with more options at the back,” said McCarthy. “For a start it means I have more than just four defenders!

“Dom can play centre-half, Spence has done really well there, Jonas has done well in the middle, but I still think he’s the best left-back we’ve got. Callum can play right-back or right centre-back. I have to say he’s impressed everybody. We had a small game this morning and he was very good.”

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