Carsley could be next loan signing

WITH four days to go before Ipswich Town's crunch game with Division One leaders West Brom, manager Joe Royle is considering completing a second loan deal this week.

WITH four days to go before Ipswich Town's crunch game with Division One leaders West Brom, manager Joe Royle is considering completing a second loan deal this week, writes Derek Davis.

Everton's Lee Carsley is believed to be high on the Blues boss' list to follow Republic of Ireland team-mate Alan Mahon to Portman Road.

Carsley has recently recovered from injury and played alongside Matt Holland in the Republic of Ireland's draw with Russia on Saturday but is expected to be among six changes for tonight's friendly against Turkey.

The 29-year-old started at Derby County, moved to Blackburn Rovers and then Coventry City, before moving to Goodison Park in January 2002.


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Carsley is an anchor in midfield who likes to get forward, the sort of box-to-box player Town have been looking for.

With Royle saying Georges Santos will now be used in the back four rather than his holding role, Carsley would slot into the midfield alongside Jim Magilton.

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But the Ipswich boss would have to be certain Carsley was 100% fit before trying to bring him in.

With Mahon secured the Blues may want to bed him in first and see what impact he has on the team in open play and from dead-ball situations.

There have been suggestions that Royle was also looking for a striker, but with Pablo Counago, Darren Bent and Alun Armstrong up front, and Dean Bowditch ready to make more of an impact, sorting the midfield would probably see them scoring more often too.

More will still be expected of skipper Magilton who has shown a commitment to improve all round, and Tommy Miller and Jermaine Wright have yet to show just what they are capable of producing.

New boy Mahon was due to meet his new team-mates at Ipswich training ground this morning after travelling down from Blackburn last night.

The left-sided midfielder, whose loan move to Town was revealed by the EADT on Friday morning, was quick to thank his old mate Marcus Bent, who gave Town a glowing reference.

Bent may well return to Portman Road tomorrow evening to play for Leicester City's reserves after moving to the Walker Stadium last week on a season-long loan.

Mahon said: “I had a chat with Benty and we had a laugh about it because his move from Ipswich has allowed me the chance to join the club.

“Marcus only had good things to say about Ipswich but I didn't need any persuading to join anyway. I have played at Portman Road a few times and know Ipswich are a top club. Now I can't wait to get going.”

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