This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Ipswich Town have added to their squad with the signing of Preston North End left-back Josh Earl on loan until the end of the season, it has been confirmed on the Tractor Boys website.
The 21-year-old spent the first half of the campaign on loan at Bolton Wanderers but will now swap a League One relegation battle at Wanderers for a promotion push at Portman Road.
So is Earl a good addition at Portman Road?
Ethan van Ristell
“The Preston defender has impressed on loan at Bolton this season, making a total of eleven appearances, and Ipswich are getting a player more than capable of cutting it at Championship level.
“Earl is also versatile positionally. He is capable of playing as a centre-half as well as his natural position at left-back, which will be a major plus for Paul Lambert.
“However, the 21-year-old may find it difficult to get into Ipswich’s current back line, as he would have to dislodge Myles Kenlock and Luke Garbutt on the left side of defence. Therefore, it may be a challenge for Earl on that front.
“Nevertheless, this should prove to be a good signing for Ipswich.”
Kick your week off with this Ipswich Town quiz? Don’t delay have a go now!
“This looks like a clever move to me.
“Earl was hampered by injuries during his time on loan at Bolton Wanderers but when he did play he showed he had the quality to cut it at League One level.
“The 21-year-old is capable of slotting in as a left-back or a centre-back and should help to shore up the Tractor Boys backline, which may help stop their poor run of form.
“The move to Portman Road is a positive move for the defender as he seems to be down the pecking order at Preston and Ipswich are pushing to return to the Championship.”
“I think this is a solid piece of business for the Tractor Boys.
“Earl did well during the first half of the season with Bolton and, although he did not exactly set the world alight, clearly still has a real use in the third-tier.
“It is an area where they could do with strengthening as well. Luke Garbutt is a great option at this level but a few question marks still remain over Myles Kenlock.
“Bringing in a new defender to bolster the area will only help going into the business half of the season, with Ipswich looking to reignite their bid for automatic promotion.”