Preston North End defender Josh Earl has returned to the North West club following the conclusion of his loan deal at Ipswich Town, which has drawn a mixed reaction from many fans of the Tractor Boys.
The 21-year-old joined Ipswich in January in a loan deal that was supposed to run until the end of the 2019/20 campaign.
However, it was announced today by the League One club that due to the current delay to the season, Earl’s loan-deal with the club has come to an end and the defender has been sent back to his parent club.
🤝 Josh Earl has returned to Preston following the end of his loan deal at #itfc.
We would like to thank Josh for his efforts while at Portman Road and wish him all the best for the future. 👇
— Ipswich Town FC (@IpswichTown) May 4, 2020
In a statement on the club website, Town’s general manager of football operations Lee O’Neill said: “We all agreed that it was the sensible thing to do given the circumstances.
“We could have extended Josh’s loan but there is so much uncertainty going on at the moment around when games might be played again that it wasn’t really a viable option.
“We’d like to thank Josh for his contribution to the team and to the Club in his time with us and wish him all the best for the future.”
Earl made seven appearances during what was a difficult period for Paul Lambert’s side.
The Tractor Boys won just one of the 21-year-old’s games for the club, with the last four all finishing in defeat, as they slipped out of the top six.
The Preston defender’s departure has drawn a mixed reaction from fans of the League One club, with some hailing his quality and others taking the opposite view.
Read their reaction here:
Shame. He looked alright when he played
— Tom Mollatt🌐 (@TomMollatt) May 4, 2020
Best of luck for the future 👍
— Danny Burch (@dkburch4168) May 4, 2020
Sign him was fantastic going forward
— Joshua Slade (@JoshuaSlade8) May 4, 2020
Was one of are best defenders
— xX QsV MaRs Xx (@QsvMars) May 4, 2020
Didn’t really work out for him here
— Blxes (@BluesssItfc) May 4, 2020
Can’t say I’m fussed about this tbh #itfc
— Essex Tractor Boy (@EssexTractorBoy) May 4, 2020
Thought he was decent
— Nathan King (@Nathan_King2) May 4, 2020
Forgot we even had him tbh https://t.co/jvsKpNLPIS
— MLS (@Large_Doner) May 4, 2020