‘I had a few offers, but I really liked the sound of the manager here’ – Pennington on joining Town

Everton defender Matthew Pennington joined Ipswich Town for the season on loan deadline day. Photo:

Everton defender Matthew Pennington joined Ipswich Town for the season on loan deadline day. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Matthew Pennington can’t wait to show fans what he’s all about after being sold the Ipswich Town project.

The 23-year-old centre-back joined the Blues on a season-long loan from Everton just moments before last Friday’s 5pm deadline.

And he went straight into the team less than 48 hours later, producing an impressive debut display in the 1-1 East Anglian derby draw with Norwich City at Portman Road.

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“I’m just looking to play games, get experience and show the fans what I’m about,” said the Warrington-born defender.

“I had a few offers, but I really liked the sound of the manager (Paul Hurst) here. I’ve heard great things about the club so I’m looking forward to it.”

Pennington has started six Premier League games for the Toffees so far and scored in a Merseyside derby defeat at Liverpool back in April 2017. He spent the entirety of last season on loan at Leeds in the Championship where he made 15 starts and nine substitute appearances.

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Reflecting on his Blues debut, he said: “It was a great first game to come in to – the atmosphere was incredible and I enjoyed it. I felt like I settled into it quite well. I enjoyed the partnership with Chambo (Luke Chambers). He’s an experienced player and there was good communication.

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“Two points dropped rather than one point gained is how the lads feel. We had spells when we were on top and we should have put the game to bed to be honest.

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“We are desperate to get a win on the board and hopefully it will come in the next game. It will come if we keep playing like that.”

Pennington replaced the suspended Toto Nsiala at centre-back, the latter also set to sit out the next two games against Hull (a) and Brentford (h) following his highly controversial red card at Sheffield Wednesday.

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Blues boss Hurst could be set for a central defensive selection headache soon if the Blues sign veteran Welshman James Collins as a free agent. The 35-year-old former West Ham man has been training with the club this week, though Aston Villa – a club he spent three years at – are understood to also be interested.

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We asked our online readers what their central defensive pairing of choice would be if Collins signed. Results (from 1.2k votes): Chambers/Collins 25%, Collins/Pennington 24%, Chambers/Pennington 19%, Collins/Nsiala 16%, Chambers/Nsiala 8%, Nsiala/Pennington 8%.

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