McCarthy Surprised and Delighted Blades Cut Short Carter-Vickers Loan
Friday, 9th Mar 2018 15:52
Town boss Mick McCarthy says he was “extremely and pleasantly surprised” to learn that Cameron Carter-Vickers had ended his loan with tomorrow's opponents Sheffield United in January. The Blues boss moved quickly to add the Tottenham defender to his ranks for the second half of the campaign and the USA international has quickly established himself as a regular starter for Town.
Carter-Vickers, 20, joined the Blades in August and made 18 starts while at Bramall Lane, scoring his only goal on his debut at Bolton.
“I was extremely and pleasantly surprised,” McCarthy said when asked about his reaction when he heard Carter-Vickers’s spell in South Yorkshire had ended at a time when he was looking for a replacement for Tommy Smith, who was about to join the Colorado Rapids.
“We were looking for a defender and we were getting the usual ones for January - we couldn’t do this one because it’s too expensive, he’s going somewhere else, we were waiting for somebody to come in, waiting for the domino effect to fall in our favour and it wasn’t happening.
“And it was Klugy, Bryan Klug, said to me he’d had a call and would I be interested in Cameron. I said, ‘Absolutely, yes’. And he said he’d come back from Sheffield United.
“I was so surprised, not at [Sheffield United boss] Chris [Wilder] letting him go because [I don’t know] what players he’s got.
“They’re still doing well so he’s probably got other players that are his. He might have got somebody coming back from injury, he might have signed somebody else, he’d got enough loan players that he couldn’t play them all, I get that. But I was delighted, yes. And even more so since he’s played, he’s been great.”
Since Carter-Vickers has come into the team the Blues have conceded only five goals in his eight matches.
“It’s coincided with us playing three at the back,” McCarthy continued. “The first game was against Norwich and they’ve enjoyed playing it, it’s made us a little bit more solid, I think.
“Whatever I play in front of them, we’ve got five big defenders that can defend freekicks and corners and throw-ins if need be.
“That does make a difference because in this league you can play great and get beaten by a freekick or a corner.
“He’s just added to it, he’s been very, very good, but I think so have Chambo and Webbo playing in that three.”
The Town boss says he’d love to bring the Southend-born defender back to Portman Road again in the summer but at the moment has no idea whether that might be possible.
“That is the, I was going to say $50 million question, it might be the £5 million question,” he reflected.
“I don’t know what his value is, but he’s been excellent for us, he’s been really, really good.
“I’d love to have that conversation with [Spurs boss] Mauricio Pochettino and see what he wants to do with him.
“Not because of Mauricio [specifically], but it’s a futile conversation almost unless they’ve decided already that he’s not going to play for Spurs and they want to loan him out again, then you might get a chance.
“But I’d be saying, ‘Well look, I’ll bring him back for pre-season, we’ll play him during pre-season, we’ll see how he does’.
“And, of course, this year, the transfer window shuts on August 9th but the loan deals go until the end of the month. We can’t buy anybody then but you can take loan deals until the end of August.
“So I think that’s when it’s all going to happen. But I’d like to have my foot in the door if he’s going to be loaned out again.”
Given Smith’s departure, is a new centre-half a priority in the summer or could youngsters Pat Webber, Luke Woolfenden or Chris Smith, who are all currently out on loan, make the step up?
“We’ll be looking, of course,” McCarthy said. “Pat Webber and Luke Woolfenden, they’re doing OK [on loan at Braintree and Bromley], but they’re not set to come in the team and play at centre-back, Woolfy’s been playing at right-back anyway. Pat’s done a bit of left-back.
“Chris Smith [on loan at Chelmsford] is probably the standout one for me that’s doing well as a centre-back, he’s trained with us today, he’s coming out of contract but my intention is to give him a new contract and if we have to loan him out then so be it.
“But I still want one with more experience who’s played more games in the league, whatever league that might be.”
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