Blackpool bolster defensive ranks further with the signing of former Everton and Fleetwood Town man

Blackpool have signed former Everton and Fleetwood Town defender Callum Connolly.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 2:44 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th June 2021, 2:50 pm

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Blackpool have signed former Everton and Fleetwood Town defender Callum Connolly

The centre-back, who is also capable of playing as a defensive midfielder, has agreed an initial two-year deal with the option to extend by 12 months.

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The 23-year-old makes the move to Bloomfield Road after his contract with Everton came to an end, having recently enjoyed two loan spells with Fleetwood.

“I’m delighted to be here,” Connolly said of his move.

“For the last few weeks I’ve been speaking to the gaffer about where he was going to play me, the belief in the squad and where he wants to take the team.

“The club’s going to be playing Championship football again and it sounds very promising to be a Blackpool player.”

Connolly recently enjoyed a loan spell at Fleetwood, where he was captain

Connolly, who captained Fleetwood under Simon Grayson, made 42 appearances for the Cod Army last season, scoring twice.

In his first loan spell, he made 15 appearances during the curtailed 2019/20 season, having joined in January.

The defender has previously enjoyed loan spells with Lincoln City, Bolton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic, Ipswich Town and Barnsley.

Connolly, who has been with Everton since 2006, has represented England at various youth levels and has been capped four times by the Under-21s.

Head coach Neil Critchley said: “Callum is a player I’ve admired for some time.

“He’s ambitious, wants to challenge himself and has the attributes, character and values that we want here at Blackpool.

“He’s had previous Championship experience on loan with various clubs and now wants a permanent home to play his football.

“I’m delighted to welcome him to the club. His best years are still to come and we’re looking forward to working with him and helping him develop and improve his game further.”

Connolly follows Reece James (Doncaster Rovers), Daniel Grimshaw (Manchester City), Shayne Lavery (Linfield), Josh Bowler (Everton) and Oliver Casey (Leeds United) in making the move to the Fylde coast this summer ahead of Blackpool’s return to the Championship.

The signing of Connolly comes not long after fellow centre-back Oliver Casey arrived from Leeds United.

With Marvin Ekpiteta, Daniel Gretarsson and James Husband all capable of playing in the centre of defence, that raises doubts over whether loan star Dan Ballard will be returning to Bloomfield Road.

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