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Wales Under-21 boss Geraint Williams keeping a close eye on Elliott Hewitt’s progress at Ipswich Town

PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 December 2012

Elliott Hewitt

Elliott Hewitt

Archant

THERE was one man in Ipswich particularly pleased to see Elliott Hewitt make his Blues debut at the weekend.

Wales Under-21 boss Geraint Williams still has a house in the town and has been keeping close tabs on the progress of the Rhyl-born 18-year-old after he made the move to Portman Road in the summer.

A host of Premier League clubs – including the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea – were tracking the athletic young right-back last season following his rise to prominence in a Macclesfield Town side that were ultimately relegated from League Two.

The need for double hip surgery meant top-level interest dropped off though and former Town boss Paul Jewell was able to get him for just £150,000.

And following a lengthy rehabilitation period, the teenager – who made his Football League debut at the age of 16 and was soon fast-tracked to the Wales Under-21 squad – came off the bench in the 88th minute of Saturday’s 3-0 home win over Millwall.

“He’s a player that is very much on my radar,” said Williams. “I’ve watched the DVDs of his games with our Under-21s when Bryan Flynn was in charge and I was impressed. We’ve had him playing well above his age group for some time because we wanted to test the natural athleticism that he has.

“I was at Playford Road to watch his first game back after his operation, against Swansea’s Under-21s, alongside Mick McCarthy. I think it’s fair to say we were both pleased with what we saw, especially as he had been out for so long.”

He continued: “I’ve spoken to Elliott at the training ground a couple of times now and I’ve been impressed by his attitude. He’s so enthusiastic about the game and just loves playing.

“He’s a young man and it’s important we don’t heap too much expectation on him, but he’s got an awful lot of attributes. He’s really looking forward to proving himself to myself and Mick – and we’re both hopeful he can do that.”

Former Macclesfield boss Gary Simpson said: “We took Elliott on after he was released by Wrexham and could see very quickly that he was a bright prospect. We gave him his debut at 16, but, to be honest, I wanted to play him before that.

“He was tremendous for us during a difficult period and there were a number of Premier League clubs looking to spend some serious money on him before the hip problems.

“In my opinion, Ipswich have got themselves a real bargain. He’s a really grounded, level-headed lad with all the attributes to make it to the very top.”

Ipswich Town will announce the loan signing of Birmingham City midfielder Stephen Gleeson tomorrow morning.

Bundesliga side Werder Bremen are said to be one of a number of clubs considering a January bid for Ipswich Town loanee Bersant Celina, according to reports.

Bartosz Bialkowski and Cole Skuse will both be fit for Ipswich Town’s trip to Bolton on Saturday.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is hopeful he will add to his squad in time for Saturday’s visit to Bolton.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says he expects keeper Bartosz Bialkowski to still be at the club come the end of the season.

Tommy Smith will be allowed to pursue a move to MLS side Colorado Rapids as long as Ipswich Town are able to sign a replacement defender.

Ipswich Town travel to Bolton Wanderers for a Championship clash on Saturday (3pm).

Bersant Celina could have joined Bolton Wanderers in the summer rather than moving to Ipswich Town - and he’s convinced he made the right decision.

Ipswich Town’s Bryan Klug was spotted keeping an eye on Colchester United and Wycombe at the weekend.

Sports writer Andy Warren takes a look at Ipswich Town’s business in the January transfer window so far.

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