Luke Hyam might have to go on loan to earn long-term deal

LUKE Hyam has been told that he might have to go out on loan next season in a bid to show Paul Jewell that he is worth a long-term deal with the Blues.

The midfielder is currently keeping club captain Grant Leadbitter and Jimmy Bullard out of Jewell’s first team – again producing another accomplished display in Saturday’s defeat at Leeds United.

But as he mulls over a new one-year deal offered last week, it seems likely the former Ipswich schoolboy might have to continue his footballing education away from Portman Road next year.

The Town boss explained: “I think he (Hyam) deserves a lot of credit. He’s been not near the team, sometimes he hasn’t even got a game in the reserve team, but he’s an example because he’s got his head down, worked harder than he’s ever worked, he’s in the gym, out on the pitches.

“He’s another that may go out on loan next year to progress. We’re certainly pleased to offer him a contract because he’s an example to others that are out of the team. I just thought it was a reward for his hard work.”

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The 20-year-old will hope he can keep his place alongside Andy Drury in the centre of Town’s midfield and prove to his manager that he can be part of the squad next season.

Hyam is starting to show the kind of form that got everyone excited when he first broke into the first-team fold at the start of last season.

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And while he might have only got his breakthrough under Jewell due to injuries and loan players leaving, it is clear he is starting to win the manager over.

Jewell said: “I spoke to him before Christmas and said ‘keep going, you never know what’s going to happen, you might get a chance just make sure you’re ready’.

“I think he got tagged as being this holding midfield player who didn’t move out of the centre circle and he got a bit stale with that. He’s got good energy and I just don’t want to limit him. He’s not going to get you 10 goals a season, he’s not that type, but there are more strings to his bow than sometimes he gives himself credit for.”

Hyam is still considering his deal but he and fellow youngster Josh Carson are expected to sign – the latter having earned himself the offer of a three-year contract.

Ronan Murray last week agreed a 12-month deal – before joining Swindon Town until the rest of the season on loan.

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