McCarthy: I’ve brought Jordan Graham in to add a spark to our attack

Jordan Graham

Jordan Graham - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he has signed pacey teenage winger Jordan Graham on loan from Aston Villa to provide an added spark to his workmanlike midfield.

The 18-year-old – who has been capped at England Under-17 level – arrived at Playford Road this morning and is set to be with the Blues until January 4, making him available for the next eight Championship games.

A direct-running right-sided winger, Graham has been a regular for his Premier League employers at Under-21 level but is yet to make his senior debut.

“He’s highly thought of,” said McCarthy, speaking ahead of Saturday’s game at Charlton. “He’s been rehabbing from a knee problem, a bit of patellar tendinitis, it happens with kids coming through.

“He’s an exciting prospect – a proper winger. I think we’ve got good wide midfield players, but Jordan is different; he is someone who could go past an opponent on the outside.

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“He can play both sides, but he’s predominantly on the right; he’s a right footer.

“I like Ando (Paul Anderson), but he goes and tucks in, Carlos (Edwards) does great defensive work; this is just a young addition who might just spark something off for us. That’s what I’m looking for. Let’s wait and see, I hope he does.

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“I’ve explained to Jordan that he’s not going to go straight into the team, he’s got to get into the team and then if he gets in and is the best then he stays in the team. That’s the same with everybody.

“It’s a good addition for us coming up to Christmas with all the games we’ve got coming up.”

Asked how the move came about, McCarthy said: “We’ve always got scouts out watching the Under-21 matches. TC (assistant Terry Connor) and Steve McCall (scout) had seen him and we were saying ‘what could we get if we wanted to get someone in to change it’?

“He was one that we liked, so I decided to phone Paul (Lambert, Aston Villa manager). I think it was a bit out of the blue for Paul when I rang him, but he thinks highly of Jordan and knows that if he can come down here and get in the team it will be beneficial to them.

“I don’t doubt at all that he is ready for Championship football. He’s got great technical ability and pace. Haviong just met him he’s a good physical specimen, as they all are.”

Asked if he had considered giving teenage wingers Jordan Adekunle and Jack Doherty a try in the first team, the two summer signings also pacey wingers, McCarthy said: “No. Put it this way, if I thought I had somebody in the building who could do that job then I wouldn’t have gone out and found somebody else.”

The emergency loan window shuts at 5pm tonight, with and McCarthy adding: “Nobody more will be coming in and nobody else will be going out as far as I’m aware. We tried to set up one with Woody (Anthony Wordsworth) but that didn’t work (a move to Preston falling through).

“We’ve got a lot of games coming up so we’ll need everybody around the place.”

Left-back Aaron Cresswell is available again this weekend after he missed the last two games through suspension, but Paul Taylor and Luke Hyam are injury doubts.

“Paul Taylor has got a sore shoulder,” said McCarthy. “He got clattered in the Leicester game and it affected him in the last 10 minutes. He had a collision with the big fella (Marcin) Wasilewski. He ran into his elbow and took a nasty knock to his shoulder.

“Luke Hyam has got a stiff back too. I’m hoping they’ll both be okay, but they didn’t train today.”

– See tomorrow’s EADT and Ipswich Star for all the latest Blues news.

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