Championship side Blackpool have confirmed the signing of former Everton defender Callum Connolly, who joins the Seasiders on a two-year contract.
The 23-year-old was released by the Toffees this summer after failing to win a place in the first-team squad, bringing his 15-year association with Everton to an end as he links up with Neil Critchley.
Connolly made 40 appearances last season on loan at League One side Fleetwood Town, guiding the Cod Army to a 15th-place finish and will now jump up a tier after joining the Lancashire side, eager to settle down and make an impression in the Championship.
Quiz: What was the score the last time Blackpool played each of these 25 teams?
After spending many years in the Liverpool youth team setup, Critchley may have monitored Connolly at their Merseyside neighbours – and he joins Oliver Casey as the Seasiders’ second centre-back signing of the summer amid rumours of Arsenal defender Daniel Ballard potentially returning for a second loan spell.
Whether this signing has ended their pursuit of Ballard remains to be seen – but Blackpool aren’t messing about this window – also adding Josh Bowler, Daniel Grimshaw, Reece James, Shayne Lavery to their ranks.
Connolly joins on an initial two-year deal with the option of a third on the table.
After the announcement of this signing, there has been plenty of reaction on Twitter from Blackpool fans. But how do they feel about this deal? Did they want Daniel Ballard instead or are they satisfied with yet another player arriving at Bloomfield Road? Let’s take a look.
Loan players I would expect to be last, need to know where to fill the gaps after permanent signings etc, however I would be surprised if Ballard came back, would love him to but just can’t see it at the min
— Lisa Beedham (@tangerinelisa) June 24, 2021
This is just taking the mick now. Who replaced Blackpool FC with a fully functional well run club ????????
— . (@corner_martyn) June 24, 2021
Don’t underestimate what a quality signing this is. Buzzing absolutely buzzing 😍👏🏽🍊 https://t.co/owUu2dYHKf
— Troy🏴 (@AllonbyTroy) June 24, 2021
We’ll always have Wembley @dg_ballard 😭😭😭
This is, however, a quality signing. https://t.co/C9YenVznsI
— Patrick Feeney (@P_Feens) June 24, 2021
This is a quality signing. https://t.co/ghQDR0vj3D
— SixStarsUK (@SixStarsUK) June 24, 2021
We are literally playing this window like a football manager save nabbing all the youngsters whose contract expired hahaha https://t.co/jTKTDYdAii
— Sam (@BFC53Sam) June 24, 2021
— utmp – Up The Mighty Pool (@utmp_) June 24, 2021
What a signing, see him as the "turton replacement", can do a shift in midfield, full back or centre back if need, hopefully does as well for us as he did for me in my Blackpool FM save
— (P)eteairo (@xPeteairo) June 24, 2021