Josh Eccles arrives at Gills on loan.
After the loss of midfielders Kyle Dempsey and Stuart O’ Keefe to injury, Steve Evans has bolstered his options with the capture of Josh Eccles from Championship side Coventry City on a season-long loan deal.
Eccles, 20, is highly thought of by the Coventry boss Mark Robins and played a role in helping the Sky Blues achieve promotion to the second tier last season, with City securing the League 1 title.
Josh played, and was outstanding for City, on Tuesday night against the Gills in the second round of the Carabao Cup. Gills won the tie 5-4 on penalties, with Jordan Graham’s late spot kick forcing the game to be decided by penalties.
Josh has come through the Sky Blues’ academy programme and is considered an exciting prospect by the club’s management. City had a number of loan offers from League 1 clubs for the player, however it has been decided that the Gills is the place for Josh as the 2020/21 season gathers pace.
The 20-year-old signed his first professional contract in July 2018 and in total he has made 13 appearances for Coventry’s first-team, including 11 during last season’s title winning campaign.
He has signed in time to be eligible for selection ahead of Saturday’s league fixture at Wigan.
The Gaffer, who during post-match singled out Josh’s performance on Tuesday evening as particularly impressive, was delighted to clinch his signature with other clubs set to beat Gills to the chase.
He said: “Given the loss of two quality central midfielders in the last few days we had to move quickly.
“I knew from the lad's agent that young Josh was going out on loan, so I had to act fast.
“He was very impressive here on Tuesday night. He has a brilliant range of passing, physically strong and lots of energy and it fits with our strategy to have a youthful team.
“Given the interest in the lad at our level I am delighted he has agreed to join us. Our supporters will like this kid very much. I’m sure those that watched our game on Tuesday will have noted his performance.
“I am thankful to Mark Robins and Coventry City for all their help.
“We are still dreadfully short of players but we are trying to stay focused and only bring in lads that can help us.”
Josh himself added: “It was a quick process; I didn't have a second thought, I knew nothing about it on Tuesday!
"Everybody is pretty new to me so I am looking forward to meeting everyone; this is my first loan spell so I'm looking forward to it. I like to sit in and get the ball rolling, keeping it on the floor and getting attacks started."
A full interview with Josh will be available in due course.