Juan gets his start for the Bues

JIMMY Juan makes his Ipswich debut this evening and hopes it will be the first of many appearances for the club.

JIMMY Juan makes his Ipswich debut this evening and hopes it will be the first of many appearances for the club.

The 22-year-old midfielder, on loan from Monaco, is a certain starter in tonight's Carling Cup first-round clash with League One strugglers Yeovil at Portman Road.

Manager Joe Royle plans to make a number of changes and will field probably the youngest-ever side in the club's history.

Royle said: “Jimmy has a lot to offer. He is very talented with the ball.

“Because he has had so many injuries, he seems to be having the longest trial since Nuremberg!”

Juan, who started the pre-season games against Boston, Atletico Madrid and Colchester, aims to make the most of his big chance to impress.

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He said: “I like everything about English football - the full stadiums, the atmosphere and the style of play.

“I would like to play a part in helping Ipswich to win promotion and then we will see after that.

“My contract with Monaco runs until 2007 and I could have stayed in France. Three clubs - Le Havre, Troyes and Bastia - all wanted me on loan this season.

“But I much preferred to come back to Ipswich and now I plan to work hard and make the most of my opportunity.”

Juan, who joined Monaco at the age of 15, had only limited first-team experience there before his arrival at Portman Road last season.

But he did play in the Champions League against eventual winners Liverpool, the Anfield experience whetting his appetite for the English game.

Tall and slim, the leggy midfielder has been beset by injury problems but has still managed to impress boss Royle.

He added: “I feel I have certain qualities, like good technique and vision, plus the ability to pass the ball.

“I have to improve physically and work harder because it is a faster game over here than in France.

“I am working closely with the fitness coach, Simon Thadani, on this and I can feel some improvement.”

Juan was also on the bench for Monaco in Champions League games against Real Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna, while making around a dozen league appearances.

He has a cousin, Franck Jurietti, who plays in defence for Bordeaux, but he gives the impression that anything less than a chance to extend his stay in England will be a disappointment to him.

Juan is having one-to-one English lessons, which explains why his grasp of the language is showing such a marked improvement.

He laughed: “Last season I used to have Drissa Diallo to help me. He speaks French and it made it a bit easier.

“But now he has moved and I have to work hard and learn quickly!”

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