Adam Webster a ‘star in the making’ says Mick McCarthy

Adam Webster

Adam Webster - Credit: Bluepitch Media / Joe Pepler

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy believes summer signing Adam Webster is a ‘star in the making’.

The Blues brought in the 21-year-old centre-back from League Two side Portsmouth in a deal which saw teenage defender Matt Clarke and an additional fee – believed to be in the region of £700,000 – go in the other direction.

“He was a star for Portsmouth,” said McCarthy, who this morning spoke to the media ahead of what was the players’ second day back in pre-season training.

“I can’t believe Portsmouth are still in League Two, that they didn’t get promoted, they were excellent against us (in the FA Cup).

“We watched them a lot last season and I think he could end up being anything. He’s a really talented lad. He can defend but he’s very good on the ball, so that might add a new dimension to our team. Let’s hope he does.”

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Webster wasn’t involved in pre-season training with the rest of the squad this morning as he is still suffering from the knock which saw him miss the League Two play-offs.

“He came with an ankle injury,” McCarthy explained. “He was on the AlterG machine yesterday, the machine that can levitate you so you only put 20, 30 or 40 per cent of your weight on it. It’s looking like he might be right for the start of the season.

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“He’s not been brought in for the squad. If he’s better than the others, he’ll play.”

The Blues boss admits it was a difficult decision to let academy graduate Clarke, who spent last season on loan at Pompey, depart on a permanent basis.

“It was a tough call but then I’d got two left-footed centre-backs who were in front of him, Tommy (Smith) and Christophe Berra, and he was unlikely to move them out. I do see Adam Webster as hopefully a real star in the making.”

Despite adding to his defenders, recent loanee Paul Digby having been signed on a permanent basis from Barnsley this morning, McCarthy isn’t looking to move on any regular members of his backline.

“Peter Malarczyk will move on,” he said. “We’ve had a bit of interest in him, maybe on loan. He’s got a year left on his contract, we’ll see what happens with him.”

McCarthy confirmed that that the out-of-contract Kevin Foley won’t be coming back with skipper Luke Chambers and Josh Emmanuel his right-backs.

On the prospect of further recruits, the Town squad desperately short of wingers, McCarthy said: “We’re just waiting because we’re not going to go out and just select somebody and spend loads of money on them.

“We’ll wait and see what we can get on loan and I think if you look there’s not that much happening. People come back to pre-season and see what they’ve got.

“The teams with players in the European Championships will all have to give their players probably three weeks off, so any squad players behind those will be used and utilised in pre-season games, pre-season training and probably tours abroad.

“So anybody that’s going to be let out on loan – and we’ll have to take them on a window-to-window or season-long loan – that will be done when they all come back from pre-season, I guess. We’re talking to people, but as yet nothing will be happening.”

He wouldn’t be drawn on claims of his interest in Charlton winger Callum Harriott, saying ‘you wouldn’t expect me to comment if I was’, and played down the chances of former trialist Kane Smith signing from non-league Hitchin Town.

Midfielder Kevin Bru was away with Mauritius earlier in the summer and will be back with the squad to join them for next week’s training camp at the Carton House Hotel in Co Kildare near Dublin, while Daryl Murphy has also been given additional time off and will return to the club on Tuesday, July 12.

– See tomorrow’s EADT and Ipswich Star for all the latest Blues news.

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