Morsy on surprise Town deal, why he signed and his first aim with the Blues
- Credit: PA
He may be one of the key signings of the summer for Ipswich Town, but new midfielder Sam Morsy admits moving to the Blues was never in his plans.
Midfield dynamo Morsy, 29, was the 19th and final new signing of Town's summer transfer window like no other, the move being announced at 9.30pm on deadline day.
It was something of a shock for Town fans that a man of Morsy's calibre - he'd started three of the first five games of the season for Championship Middlesbrough - would step down into League One, despite his links to Paul Cook.
And, as it turns out, it was a surprise to Morsy too!
He explained: "It came really last minute, like really last minute, so I wasn't preparing for moving or anything like that, but when it came I'm happy to be here.
"I spoke to the manager, the staff and I'm happy for this new and exciting season.
"I didn't think I would be moving to be honest! That's football isn't it, that can happen.
"So I've just got to fully adapt to Ipswich and try and have a good season."
Speaking to the Hartlepool Mail in a separate interview Morsy admitted that he originally wanted to stay at 'Boro.
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"I had no intention of leaving Middlesbrough," he told them. "Even when I was told they were signing a midfielder I was happy to fight for my place but I think it was made clear from upstairs that they wanted to sell me.
“Initially I said that’s fine if the club wants to sell me but I said I’m staying put.
“I’d settled in the area, enjoyed my team-mates, enjoyed the coaching staff, it was a great atmosphere and I wanted to stay.
“I think when it became apparent I wouldn’t have a fair shot, that’s when I had to look elsewhere.
“It was late on the last day and I knew the manager at Ipswich and had told him earlier in the window there was no interest in leaving the club.
“Usually when I’m at a club I’m fully committed, fully committed to the cause and excited for the season."
But, now Morsy's in Suffolk, reunited with Cook - for whom he captained both Chesterfield and Wigan - the Egyptian international has only one thing on his mind.
"Paul Cook was the one really," he said of his decision to join Town. "Obviously he's just come in and completely stripped the squad down, bought a lot of new players and the immediate aim is to get promoted and that's what I've come to the club to do.
"Immediately, the goal is promotion really, you can't dress it up.
"The size of this club, the players, the manager, it's an immediate return. I know the owners want to invest in the squad and we'll invest again and be a force in the Championship and try and look as high as we can.
"But obviously the immediate aim is to get promoted and we can't look past that. We're looking for a really successful spell here.
"It's definitely an exciting time at the club, especially with the calibre of players who have come in - they've proper spent some money and really backed the manager.
"The manager's been promoted from this league before, winning the league, so it's exciting and I can't wait to get going."
Of his new team-mates, Morsy added: "I know (Kyle) Edwards, a good friend of mine, Lee Peltier, has got nothing but absolute praise for him and says how good he is.
"Obviously the Celina move, he's obviously a big player, and there's many other players as well.
"Conor Chaplin, who scored a lot of goals in the Championship last season.
"There's some very good players here."
Morsy will wear number 55 for the Blues, a decision which raised a few eyebrows among the Town faithful - a number more suited to the NFL than the EFL.
But he explained: "I was number 5 and I got told I couldn't have the 5 (that's George Edmundson's number), so it's my dad's birthday as well, 1955, so I thought I'd have 55."
He won't get to wear that 55 for a while though, having to serve a three match ban for getting sent off in his final game at Middlesbrough first.
"I play midfield, I like to start attacks, get the ball from the defence and start attacks," he said, when asked what he'll bring to the Blues.
"I break up play, try and control and dictate games.
"Obviously I don't want to be banned, but it gives me time to find a place to live up here and sort out personal things, so when I am playing I'm just fully focused on the job."