Ipswich Town defender Josh Emmanuel joins Rotherham United on season-long loan
PUBLISHED: 13:01 13 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:47 13 July 2017
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town right-back Josh Emmanuel has completed his season-long switch to League One side Rotherham United.
The 19-year-old academy graduate made his first team debut in August 2015 and has 24 senior appearances to his name, including 11 Championship starts last season.
It’s understood that Town owner Marcus Evans – whose long-term strategy places big emphasis on academy success – questioned the wisdom behind the switch, but was persuaded by McCarthy that it was the right thing to do.
Town striker Kieffer Moore has already completed a season-long loan to the New York Stadium, with both deals including a recall clause.
Rotherham’s Norwich-born boss Paul Warne was left impressed by the duo following Town’s 1-0 defeat in a dead rubber match in South Yorkshire on April 22.
“He’s someone I spoke to Mick about at the end of last season – I really like him,” Warne told the Sheffield Star.
“He’s the type that I want. He’s powerful and athletic. He’s at the right age. I’ve spoken to the player numerous times. He wants to come.”
The defender joins Ipswich teammate Kieffer Moore in South Yorkshire after the 6ft 5in striker sealed a similar loan switch on Monday.
McCarthy said: “I don’t want Josh here as a substitute, coming on and playing a bit part. He needs to go and play to improve, as does Kieffer.
“Neither of them will start in front of Jordan Spence (right-back) or whoever is playing up front. It’s really important for them to get football.
“We’ve got a break clause in January. Hopefully they are ripping it up by then and we want them back. The only way they are going to get better is by playing. I’ll only bring them back if I’m going to play them.”
We all want to see homegrown talent thriving at Ipswich Town once again – that’s in the DNA of this football club – but this loan move is probably a sensible one if you look at things objectively.
Emmanuel has a man’s physique, is powerful, positive and can be a real attacking threat. There’s no doubting that he is still very raw around the edges though. He rarely gets beaten all ends up by a flying winger one-on-one, but he’s still learning about defensive positioning and game management. A couple of clumsy penalties conceded last season are a case in point.
Jordan Spence is a more solid, experienced option at this very moment in time. Emmanuel is better off learning on the job down a level and will hopefully return a far more rounded player six months or a year down the line.
It does leave Town needing some defensive cover with the season less than a month away though.