Ipswich must seal a deal to sign centre-back Callum Connolly following his exit from Premier League side Everton.
Last month, TWTD reported that Ipswich are looking at Connolly as a potential target ahead of the upcoming transfer window to bolster their squad. Connolly spent the 2017/18 Championship campaign on loan to Ipswich from Everton and the club are now looking into the possibility of a return to Portman Road for the defender.
Everton have now confirmed that they have decided to release Connolly. The 23-year-old is out of contract at the end of the month and Everton have opted against renewing his deal, with Connolly now poised to become a free agent in July.
“But the added bonus has been Callum Connolly. We thought he would give us versatility but every position he’s gone into, he’s just played better. He’s played left centre-half and was superb, then he flipped over to right centre-half and he was superb.”
Ipswich and Paul Cook could be about to land Luke Chambers 2.0 if they are able to bring Connolly to the club on a free transfer this summer. The main comparison between the two players is that they are both leaders on the pitch. Simon Grayson arrived at Fleetwood in January and instantly made Connolly his captain for the rest of the campaign in League One. Chambers, who is set to leave Ipswich on a free this summer, has been the captain at Portman Road for the majority of his time in Suffolk and led the team on and off the pitch with pride.
They also play in the same positions on the pitch. Chambers and Connolly both played right-back and centre-back in League One this season for Ipswich and Fleetwood respectively. This proves that Connolly could come in and play the same roles that Chambers has been able to over the last decade or so, as both players are adept at playing in the heart of the defence and at fullback.
The £17k-per-week beast, Connolly, has already shown that he has the quality to excel at League One level. He averaged a superb WhoScored rating of 6.86 across 40 appearances on loan to Fleetwood in the 2020/21 campaign, starting 38 of those games at centre-back. This proves that he is a capable performer at this level and, at the age of 23, he could have the potential to play for the Blues for a very long time – just as Chambers was able to do.