High hopes for Flynn Downes as Mick McCarthy refuses to dwell on Kundai Benyu exit

Flynn Downes in action for Ipswich Town at Drogheda United on Saturday. Photo: �INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Flynn Downes in action for Ipswich Town at Drogheda United on Saturday. Photo: �INPHO/Ryan Byrne - Credit: �INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is focusing on the young midfield talent still at his disposal instead of dwelling on the unwanted departure of Kundai Benyu.

Benyu, 19, turned down a new contract at Portman Road this summer and his agent discovered a loophole which meant the Blues could not trigger a 12-month extension clause in his deal.

As a result, the academy graduate has joined Scottish giants Celtic on a four-year deal, with the Blues set to receive around £100-200k in compensation.

“He’d not contributed and he didn’t look like he was going to do until I insisted he went to Aldershot (on loan) and played some football, which he didn’t want to do,” said a stony-faced McCarthy.

“And then, of course, he did and some agents have got involved and he’s got a move. Let’s see whether he’s a success up there.


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“They do keep the ball and he does have the ability to do that. Let’s see how much money we get for him first because I didn’t have any bids from anyone in England.”

While Benyu may have gone, the Blues have a number of other promising young central midfielders coming through from the academy.

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Andre Dozzell, 18, has already made the first team breakthrough and is currently away with England at the European Under-19 Championships.

The tenacious Flynn Downes, 18, and versatile Tristan Nydam, 17, both featured in Saturday’s 5-0 friendly win at Irish side Drogheda.

“He (Benyu) has gone, good luck to him, but I’m not bothered about players who have left,” said McCarthy.

“Just be aware I did try to sign him so it wasn’t like I tried to push him out the door because that story will emanate from somewhere and that wasn’t the case.

“But, like I say, he’s gone, so he’s done. I’d rather focus on the other lads we’ve got and who I’m delighted with. “Obviously we’ve got Dozza. And what I’ve seen of Flynn Downes and Tristan, I’m more than happy with that. I really do like Flynn, I think he’ll contribute this season.”

Downes was on the bench for Town’s final game of the season back in May. McCarthy said: “Technically he’s really good, he’s athletic, puts his foot in and is a real competitor.

“He shows no respect for the first teamers in training, he comes and dumps them on their backsides if they need dumping on their backsides. I love that about him.”

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