Carson in line for selection to full Northern Ireland squad

IPSWICH Town teenager Josh Carson is in line to be included in the Northern Ireland squad for their Carling Nations Cup matches later this month.

The 17-year-old likened to legend George Best in a lighter moment by Blues manager Paul Jewell could end up wearing the international number 11 shirt worn by the late Manchester United star.

Nigel Worthington’s side visit the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday May 24 and then go to Wales on Friday May 27.

Carson has started the last eight Ipswich games and scored three goals and is set to be in Jewell’s side when they visit Leicester City in the final match of the Championship season on Saturday lunchtime.

He has been watched by Northern Ireland officials and it is believed that he will be in the squad that is expected to be announced soon.

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Ipswich academy director Sammy Morgan would not be surprised to see Carson, who has already won Under-21 honours, receive a full international call-up.

“Josh is a talented lad and very grounded,” said Morgan.

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“Connor Wickham has rightly been earning headlines, but the emergence of Josh shows that our academy has other very talented players coming through.

“We had a great deal of opposition before we signed Josh, but he chose Ipswich because he thought he would get his chance and be looked after properly.

“He comes from a stable home and has received all the support he needs from his family.”

A number of players are coming over from Ireland for Saturday’s game at Under-15 level against Manchester United at Portman Road with a 3pm start.

“It will be give our fans a chance to see who is coming through the system,” added Morgan with Danny Welbeck, Wickham, Jordan Rhodes, Luke Hyam and Tom Eastman players who played in a game that has been staged at Portman Road for the last six years.

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew is reported to be keen to link up with Wickham again after signing him as young lad while in charge of Reading.

Pardew’s priority in the summer transfer window is to replace Andy Carroll and Wickham has been watched a number of times.

Liverpool remain favourites however to sign Wickham if any club makes an offer that meets Town’s value in the summer.

Tottenham are said to be ready with a �500,000 offer for Town academy striker Caolan Lavery.

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