Former Republic of Ireland and current Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has described his Polish goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski as the best in the English Championship.
McCarthy stated this in an interview on Polish sports website przegladsportowy.pl.
Bialkowski, 30, got his maiden call-up to the Poland squad for their friendlies against Nigeria and South Korea this month.
He was invited alongside the duo of Lukasz Fabianski of Swansea and former Arsenal and now Juventus shot stopper Wojciech Szczęsny.
McCarthy who took Ireland to the round of 16 of the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan, highlighted Bialkowski’s importance to his Championship club.
“For two years, Bart (Bartosz) has been our best player, he won awards for Player of the Year,” McCarthy said.
“Last season we were close to the drop in League One, but he saved us. I will say he is the best goalkeeper in the Championship. His reaction speed, the ability to defend shots are at the highest level.”
McCarthy recalled how Bialkowski made a great save to keep Ipswich in contention in a Championship game against Sheffield Wednesday.
“There are many sensational saves which will be hard to just highlight one. But well, now one comes to mind. In the match against Sheffield Wednesday at 0-0, Bart took the ball on his face. I know it was an accident, but it’s a moment where he had to intervene,” McCarthy added.
“For Bart, I can always count on. He has made a lot of progress, and since we bought him, he has proved that he deserves a place in the starting line-up.
“I know that his dream is to play in the Premier League, but I’m glad that he is still with us. I have no doubt, however, that Bart is ready for such challenges, and if the owner decides to sell him, it will be for a lot of money. We have the right to price him high, since we are talking about the best goalkeeper in the league.”
Speaking further on his relationship with Bialkowski, McCarthy said: “I love to work with him. It is said that goalkeepers are lunatics, but he is completely different. He’s a quiet, young man. Gentleman.”