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Preston's Earl Signs on Loan
Monday, 13th Jan 2020 11:17

Town have confirmed the signing of Preston defender Josh Earl on loan for the rest of the season.

News of the Blues’ interest in the 21-year-old broke yesterday with Town understood to have fought off interest from Rotherham and the Chicago Fire to recruit Earl.

The new signing, a left-back or centre-half, looks to have come into the squad as a replacement for Toto Nsiala, who joined Bolton on loan on Friday, but could also allow Luke Garbutt to push forward into midfield if the Blues revert to a four-man backline at some point.

"The move came around quite quickly, I got told on the Friday that I was possibly moving down to Ipswich on Sunday and I’m here now and can’t wait to get started," Earl told the club site.

"I watched the game back and the lads played really well on Saturday, so hopefully we can carry that form into tomorrow’s match at Oxford.

"I feel as though it’s a great squad and the only aim for everyone this season is to push for the top two."

He added: “As soon as I heard Ipswich wanted me that was it. They are pushing for the automatic promotion places and it looks an exciting club to be part of so it was an easy decision.

“There are good players here and the target is obviously to get back in the Championship.

"It’s a challenge I want to be part of, an exciting challenge and that was key to me really. It’s a great move for me.

“The games come thick and fast and I’m here to play my part. It’s up to me to get a place in the team and hold on to the shirt.”

Southport-born Earl, who has been handed the number three shirt by Town, came through the youth system at Preston, where he is contracted to 2021, and has made 31 senior starts and six sub appearances for the Lilywhites without scoring.

Earl, who had a spell on loan in non-league with Lancaster City in 2017, joined Bolton on loan in the summer but picked up an ankle injury on the opening day which sidelined him until November.

In total 6ft 4in tall Earl made 10 starts and one sub appearance for the Trotters, initially playing at left-back, which has been his primary role up to this season, before latterly moving to centre-half. Bolton manager Keith Hill opted not to renew his loan last week.

Earl is likely to go straight into the squad for Tuesday’s trip to Oxford United.

Photos: Action Images/ITFC

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Gilesy added 11:19 - Jan 13
Who remembers the time we were rumoured to be buying Gabriel Batistuta? Ok, we actually got Adrian Paz, but don't those times seem long ago.

Good luck!

Dolphinblue added 11:20 - Jan 13
Nice 👍. Welcome 🐬

CokeIsKey added 11:21 - Jan 13
Good signing, and hopefully suggests that from now on Lambo has ambition to stick with a 352 system with attacking center-backs - no more formation changes to confuse the players.

oioihardy added 11:24 - Jan 13
This is a good player we have got in . But didnt lambert say he wanted to stop using loans and to buy players who belong to town ?!?

Not moaning just starting to think we should actually do what we say sometimes. ....

ArnieM added 11:25 - Jan 13
Welcome Josh . Looking forward to seeing you stake a claim to a starting place . At 6ft 4ins set pieces are going to be interesting 👍.

chorltonskylineblue added 11:27 - Jan 13
Saw a few people moaning about the possibility of this loan last week. Ok, so not a star signing, but most fans were underwhelmed by the signing of James Wilson. And he's turned out to be a pretty solid CD for this league (on a free too). Wilson was let go by Lincoln, so give Earl a chance guys. The club say they've restructured the scouting set up, so let's trust they've done their homework on this guy and get behind him.

MrTown added 11:29 - Jan 13
Trust Lambert in the market, has done very well to date:

Norwood, Garbutt, Holy, KVY, Keane for £500k.

BaddowBlue1 added 11:29 - Jan 13
Gilesy, remember it well but the make weight in the deal Tarrico did alright for us after a terrible debut v Bolton in the League Cup.
Nice to see us sign a centre-half over 6 foot 2, which should help with set pieces in both boxes. The art of a near post corner flick on has been sadly forgotten these days! He is also left footed which should bring a bit of balance to the back line after numerous attempts to sign Curtis Tilt failed.

miltonsnephew added 11:30 - Jan 13
I bet this deal has been able to come about by offsetting money owed from the sale of Garner.

coolcat added 11:32 - Jan 13
Welcome to Ipswich. Looks like a good signing. 👍

planetblue_2011 added 11:32 - Jan 13
Welcome Josh, he’s 6ft4 only 21 & left sided centre back. Could be a good bit of business from town.

beornioblue added 11:38 - Jan 13
Welcome Josh good luck I think this could be quite a savvy move, looking forward to seeing you play !! COYB

Pilgrimblue added 11:38 - Jan 13
Like many I haven't seen him play but this answers why we haven't sighed Smith.
On the plus side he's a lefty, young and tall so maybe PL sees him more as a CB in 352. Either way he's a welcome addition.

TownOnTheUp added 11:46 - Jan 13
Nice to see, but it worries me a bit that Bolton chose not to renew his loan. Anyone know why?

algarvefan added 12:01 - Jan 13
'Town on the up' ......maybe finance?

Look forward to seeing you play Josh and welcome to the club.

unknown100 added 12:08 - Jan 13
Let’s not write him off because of the Bolton past, James Wilson comes to mind, players work and some clubs and not others, just about fitting the right players in the right system and a left sided centre half is great for a back 3

wheres_my_tractorkey added 12:09 - Jan 13
Hope this doesn’t pave the way for a Woolfenden sale to Sheff United...

BettyBlue added 12:09 - Jan 13
Goodbye Luke Woolfenden.
Is there a cheaper cheapskate than Evans??
Is here a cheaper option than this lad on loan?
Has Evans and Lambert given up on promotion this season and are going to hide behind their pathetic 5 year plan??

Terry_Nutkins added 12:12 - Jan 13
Oioihardy - I think there is a difference in the types of loans. We have very few loanees now all of them are ones where there is potential for us to sign them. Garbutt is a classic example of this. I have no issue with it in these cases. Also we are no longer blocking young players pathways with loans. If he plays ahead of Wilson for example i dont see a big issue. Woolf is already establish and Ndaba isnt ready.

Terry_Nutkins added 12:14 - Jan 13
Bettyblue what are you on about. This replaces Nsiala plus useful LB cover also. If Woolf goes it has zero to do with this and would need replacing seperately. Never let facts get in the way of a pointless dig though.

blues1 added 12:14 - Jan 13
Town on the up. Pretty obvious why really. Bolton signed him on loan at a time when they had hardly any players available to play other than youngsters. He then got injured and by time he was fit they had brought other players in the squad and he was surplus to requirements,

Terry_Nutkins added 12:14 - Jan 13
Bettyblue what are you on about. This replaces Nsiala plus useful LB cover also. If Woolf goes it has zero to do with this and would need replacing seperately. Never let facts get in the way of a pointless dig though.

Len_Brennan added 12:14 - Jan 13
I don't know anything about him, but as Planet Blue 2011 says, he looks a likely candidate for the left side of a back 3 spot, with the capability to push forward at pace when the opportunity presents itself.
If that is the aim, it at least shows that we have a coherent strategy for a preferred system for the remainder of the season.

tractorboybig added 12:18 - Jan 13
never heard of him, so the floor is there for you ?

Lightningboy added 12:20 - Jan 13
Just like every player who comes in I hope he has a long & successful career at ITFC - some work some don’t - it’ll never change.

Personally i’d be a lot happier if we could sign Luke Garbutt on a permanent deal asap.

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