Ben Barclay yesterday became Carlisle United's fifth summer signing.

The defender joined on a season-long loan from Stockport County.

The 25-year-old could make his first Blues appearance in tomorrow night's friendly at Kendal Town.

Here we take a closer look at United's latest recruit.

READ MORE: Carlisle United make defender their fifth summer signing

Manchester-born Barclay started with Manchester City but got his big break in the professional game when he joined Brighton & Hove Albion in 2013.

Two years later and he signed his first pro deal, and went on to become a regular in the south coast club's under-23 team.

He featured twice for Brighton's under-23s in the EFL Trophy in 2016/17 before, two years later, getting his first-team chance.

News and Star: Barclay in action for Brighton in 2018 Barclay in action for Brighton in 2018

That came in a Carabao Cup game against Southampton, when Barclay played the full game on his debut along with fellow prospects Will Collar and Viktor Gyokeresin a 1-0 defeat for Chris Hughton's side.

The then 21-year-old told the Argus at the time: "He [Hughton] congratulated us young lads. He thought we did well, it was a good test for us."

READ MORE: Carlisle United boss Paul Simpson reveals decisions on trialists - and eyes more deals

That proved his only first-team appearance for the Seagulls for, after more EFL Trophy outings, Barclay - who played at centre-half and in central midfield for Brighton - was loaned to Notts County in the second half of the 2018/19 season.

He made 13 appearances and scored his first senior goal - against MK Dons - for a Magpies side who were relegated from League Two.

From there, Barclay left Brighton and, in the summer of 2019, went on trial with Accrington Stanley.

He impressed manager John Coleman and earned a one-year deal with the option of anothe 12 months at the Wham Stadium.

News and Star: Barclay, right, spent two seasons with Accrington StanleyBarclay, right, spent two seasons with Accrington Stanley

"He is a promising defender from Brighton, he came through at Manchester City so he is technically a very good footballer," Coleman told the Lancashire Telegraph.

Barclay made 12 appearances in his first League One season, and then held down a more regular place in 2020/21, playing 31 times for Coleman's side, scoring once.

He was offered new terms by the club in the summer of 2021, but instead opted t head to Edgeley Park, where ambitious National League club Stockport handed him a three-year deal.

Director of football Simon Wilson described the move as a "coup" for the club, while then manager Simon Rusk, who had worked with Barclay at Brighton, said: “He is a calm and composed player with good versatility.”

Barclay made 12 appearances in the first half of the 2021/22 National League season, but dropped down the pecking order under new Hatters boss Dave Challinor, who allowed the defender to join fellow National League club Yeovil Town on loan.

He went on to play 20 times for the Glovers, scoring one goal, with his initial loan being extended until the end of the season, and impressed for the Somerset outfit who finished 12th in non-league’s top tier.

He returned to Stockport at the end of the campaign as the Hatters celebrated winning the National League title.

Now, with his parent club again investing this summer – Northampton defender Fraser Horsfall among their additions – he has been allowed out again, Brunton Park his destination on a season-long loan which Blues boss Paul Simpson has hinted could be with a view to something further.