Aston Villa recall Louie Barry from disappointing Ipswich Town loan spell
England Under-18 international Louie Barry has had his loan spell at Ipswich Town cut short following a recall by Premier League parent club Aston Villa.
There was much excitement about the highly-rated young forward's arrival at Portman Road on a season-long loan on the eve of the Sky Bet League One season kicking off in early August.
But Kosovo international Bersant Celina's subsequent arrival, also on a season-long loan from French club Dijon, pushed the former Barcelona academy talent down the pecking order.
It ended up being a disappointing first loan for the player who started out with West Brom and moved to Villa from Barcelona in a reported £880,000 in January 2020, playing making just six appearances, four of which were starts.
Barry, whose last senior outing in a Town shirt came in the Papa John’s Trophy group decider tie at home to Colchester United in early November, only made two League One appearances, both in August, and one as a late substitute.
Asked about the 18-year-old's situation ahead of the Blues' most recent match, against Wycombe Wanderers, new manager Kieran McKenna had said: “Louie’s been training with us. He’s been training well. Louie is a player I know from watching academy football and watching England youths.
“He’s obviously a talented boy. He hasn’t played as much football as he would have hoped to have done but also will have learned an awful lot from his first move. I’ve had a couple of good discussions with him.
“I think the first loan move is very often about the experiences that you pick up off the pitch and everyone at the club speaks very highly of Louie and how he has conducted himself, and he’s positive about the experience that he’s had.
“We’re having conversations with Louie and he’s training with us, and we’re continuing to speak to him about what the best option for him is going forward.”
It leaves Town with four loan players left on their books – goalkeeper Christian Walton (Brighton), full-back Hayden Coulson (Middlesbrough), attacking midfielder Bersant Celina (Dijon) and striker Macauley Bonne (QPR) – with EFL clubs allowed to name a maximum of five in a match day squad.
Having seen their scheduled New Year's Day home game with Lincoln City on Saturday postponed due to an outbreak of Covid in the opposition's squad, the Blues are due to return to action at Gillingham on Saturday (3pm). It is a rearranged match after the Kent side called off the original Boxing Day fixture due to Covid-19 cases.
The Suffolk club have sold all 2,100 seats allocated to them at the Priestfield Stadium.