Welsh team mate tips Elliott Hewitt for the top as he closes in on Ipswich Town move

WELSH teenager Elliott Hewitt would be another of Paul Jewell’s lower-league gems.

The 17-year-old right-back is close to agreeing a switch to Portman Road and become Ipswich Town’s first signing of the summer – possibly in the next 24 hours.

And Colchester United youngster Tom Bender has backed his Welsh team-mate to follow in the footsteps of Aaron Cresswell and make a name for himself at Portman Road.

Bender believes Hewitt will be a shrewd signing for the Blues, coming after top target Joel Ward signed for Crystal Palace instead.

“Elliott is a very good young player and if he does move to Ipswich, he will be great in the coming years,” said Bender.

“He is a very attacking full-back, he is good on the ball and not shy in getting forward. The way Ipswich like to get the ball down and play, he would suit them very well.”

After becoming their youngest-ever Football League debutant at the age of 16 years and 342 days, Hewitt made 19 starts for Macclesfield last season but was unable to prevent them from being relegated from League Two.

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Bender said: “He played well for Macclesfield last season and he played a lot of games for someone so young.

“It might take him a little while to settle from League Two to the Championship, but he is capable of making the step up.”

Hewitt has also progressed through the Welsh ranks, featuring the Under-21s against Hungary and Montenegro – prompting his former manager to compare him to Tottenham’s Gareth Bale.

Speaking in December, when Premier League clubs were said to be interested in the youngster, former Silkmen boss Gary Simpson said: “If somebody wants what potentially could be another Gareth Bale – which I think the kid is – then they need to show us the colour of their money.”