Blackpool boss Terry McPhillips so pleased to sign Merseyside prospects Matty Virtue and Antony Evans

Antony Evans joined Blackpool from Everton Picture: BLACKPOOL FC
Antony Evans joined Blackpool from Everton Picture: BLACKPOOL FC
Share this article

It was two in, two out as Blackpool’s transfer window came to an unusually busy end.

READ MORE: Fans shocked by Blackpool's busy deadline day
The Seasiders brought in two youngsters from Merseyside in Matty Virtue from Liverpool and Antony Evans from Everton.

Virtue, a box-to-box midfielder, put pen to paper on a two-and-a-half- year contract after Pool paid an undisclosed fee, while winger Evans joined on loan until the end of the season.

Fringe players Joe Bunney and John O’Sullivan both departed, the former having his loan deal from Northampton Town cut short early in order to rejoin Rochdale on loan.

O’Sullivan has been loaned to Dundee – the window north of the border did not close until midnight and the midfielder completed his move just in time.

Virtue, a 21-year-old who has captained Liverpool’s Under-23 side this season, was the first Blackpool signing confirmed on Thursday.

Manager Terry McPhillips said: “We’ve watched him for a long time and all the staff know him. Everyone you speak to says what a good lad he is.

“I know the coach at Crewe who worked with him before and he’s Liverpool’s U23 captain.

“He does a bit of everything but the main ingredient is that he’s a great kid, who trains hard every day and plays as he trains. We’re really excited to bring him on board.

“He went on loan to Notts County last season, so he’s got experience of the men’s game, but he’s a Liverpool player and so he has some pedigree.

“Most importantly, he’s a really grounded lad, the type that can get better and better with league games under this belt.”

With Jay Spearing picking up a knee injury in Tuesday’s draw against Wycombe Wanderers, there’s every chance of Virtue – a defensive midfielder in the same mould as Pool’s captain – being thrown straight in at Accrington Stanley on Saturday.

McPhillips added: “He goes straight into consideration. He’s not a baby – he’ll be 22 in May.

“He goes straight into the squad and adds to the competition. I look forward to watching him train.”

On Evans, who is capable of playing as a forward as well as on the wing, McPhillips added: “I’ve known Antony a long time and followed his progress.

“He’s someone I rate highly and I have no doubt he will add goals and assists to the team. I’m delighted we’ve been able to bring him in.”

Following last summer’s intense speculation surrounding Curtis Tilt, it was a surprise to many that no club came back in for the defender last month.

Both Ipswich Town and Wigan Athletic had bids knocked back over the summer, while Scottish giants Rangers were also thought to be interested.

But the club didn’t receive a single January bid for the centre-half, which raised the eyebrows of Blackpool’s manager.

McPhillips said: “I’m surprised there have not been any bids, not even a cheeky one as far as I’m aware.

“I think he’s been superb in the three games since he’s come back. His defending has been outstanding.”