‘I would love him to be in my team’ - McCarthy on Downes loan as he backs teenager to return a better player
- Credit: Archant
Mick McCarthy is disappointed Flynn Downes has not been able to force his way into the Ipswich Town side, but believes a temporary switch to Luton is best for the young midfielder’s development.
The 19-year-old burst onto the scene during pre-season and made 12 appearances before being sidelined through injury and exhaustion, following a hectic schedule which saw him step into the professional game and represent England at youth level.
He has now joined Luton on loan for the rest of the season, with McCarthy convinced the temporary move will aid his development given the likes of Cole Skuse, Stephen Gleeson and Callum Connolly block his path to the first team.
“Fans being disappointed, and if there’s any criticism levelled, let’s clear things up, I’m disappointed (too),” McCarthy said.
“I would love him to be in my team but he got in it and he got injured – he got in the England set-up and then he got injured. His injury probably came from overuse, stress, an overworked injury having trained with us every day.
“He’s had to take a step back but he’s not going to dislodge Skusey, Gleas and Callum, so he might as well go and play somewhere else in a team who could get promoted.
“It’s for his own good, his development, which is something I consider for all the players as well.
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“It’s not just about me. If he was the best midfield player and he was fit he would still be here, but he’s not so he might as well develop and come back next year a better player.”
Downes could easily return to Portman Road with a promotion on his CV, given the Hatters sit eight points clear at the top of League Two, with McCarthy happy to be lending his youngster to Luton manager Nathan Jones.
“It’s a good signing for both of us – for Luton Town and for Ipswich” McCarthy said.
“He’s going to a club with Nathan Jones, who I have always been impressed with, they play in a diamond.
“I said to him after we played them (Carabao Cup, August), that they would get promoted and it looks like that now.
“He’s going to a team that is doing very well and playing at the base of the diamond will suit him fine. It’s not the Championship but he’s more than capable of playing there.
“If he gets 10 or 12 games between now and the end of the season it will be a great experience and he will come back to us next year a better player for it.”