England scouts disappointed not to have seen more of Luke Hyam

ENGLAND scouts have been disappointed not to have seen more of Luke Hyam in the Ipswich Town midfield of late.

The EADT and Ipswich Star understands that the 20-year-old was being closely monitored within the Three Lions camp following a largely impressive seven-game spell of starts throughout the months of January and February.

It’s understood that a scout – operating on behalf of Stuart Pearce’s England Under-21 and Olympic Games Under-23 set-up – was at Portman Road on Wednesday night to watch Town’s 1-0 win over Burnley. However, while they were able to file reports on Clarets duo Jay Rodriguez and Ben Mee – both capped at England U21 level – they did not get a chance to see Hyam in action, a player who had previously caught their eye.

The former Northgate High School pupil has not featured in the matchday 16 since a below-par performance in the 3-0 defeat at Brighton on February 25.

Blues boss Paul Jewell admitted recently that Hyam – who recently signed a new one-year contract at the club – was ‘unlucky’ to be out of the squad following his impressive New Year return.

Grant Leadbitter, Andy Drury, Lee Bowyer and Ryan Stevenson have all been preferred as central midfield options of late, with Town securing an impressive 23 points from a possible 30.

“Luke hasn’t fallen out of my plans at all,” said Jewell following Wednesday night’s 1-0 win over Burnley.

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“He might come back into the side in the coming weeks, but there are a lot of good players who aren’t in the 16 at the minute.

“Luke’s done terrific when he’s been in, we’ve just taken him out at the minute and I did say we were going to rotate the squad.”

Hyam has been replaced in the Blues midfield by Leadbitter for the last five games, with the 26-year-old scoring three times to do his chances of earning a new deal no harm at all.

The Blues club captain was sent-off on Wednesday night after picking up two late bookings though – the second for needlessly kicking the ball away, It means he will be suspended for Saturday’s trip to Watford as Town – nine points off the top six with nine games to go – look to continue their strong end-of-season momentum.

“That was the only slight disappointment of the night because it means we’ve lost Grant for Saturday,” said Jewell. “His suspension will give somebody else an opportunity.

“We might well give some of the younger players a chance over the remaining games.”