McCarthy: Kelly Youga could be ‘signing of the century’ for Ipswich Town

KELLY Youga’s move to Ipswich Town would be the “signing of the century” if the former Charlton left-back managed to push Aaron Cresswell out of the team.

That is the frank admission of Blues boss Mick McCarthy who is delighted to have brought in Youga as cover, but whose expectations of his first permanent signing remain very much grounded.

Youga was signed on a short-term deal last week and has played for Town in the Suffolk Premier Cup at Walsham-le-Willows and for the Under-21s in Monday’s 5-1 defeat by Millwall.

McCarthy admitted: “I know Kelly from his days at Charlton and I thought he looked set for a really good career. Then he got an injury (cruciate knee ligament) and it knocked him back for a bit.

“We’ve had nothing in terms of cover at left-back. I know Tommy (Smith) can play there, but he’s a centre-back when all’s said and done.

“I just thought he (Youga) could give us a bit of balance and an option – that’s not a loan – until the New Year at least.”

Speaking prior to Saturday’s big defeat by Leicester, the Town boss played down talk of Youga pushing Cresswell for the left-back berth.

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He explained: “That’s a challenge for him because Cressie has been excellent for the three games since I’ve been here.

“Cresswell was well fancied this year and I don’t know why his form dropped. Maybe it’s indicative of when a club is having a bit of a tough time.

“Kelly is here until January and he might not play at all for us. If he (Youga) can play well enough to get Cressie out of the team it will be the signing of the century! If we get a game out of him, I will be delighted.”

Youga, 27, McCarthy’s first permanent signing, saw his first-team chances at Charlton hit by a knee injury.

He has also had short-terms spells at Bristol City, Bradford, Scunthorpe and Yeovil.