United defender Mark Ellis has today joined National League side Leyton Orient on a two-month loan deal.
Ellis, 29 on Saturday, initially signed for United from Shrewsbury Town on a one-month loan deal in October 2015. This became permanent at the start of the January 2016 transfer window when he signed a two-and-a-half year contract.
He has scored one goal in his 58 appearances for the Blues so far.
He spent the second half of last season on loan at Forest Green helping them to promotion into the EFL with two goals in 20 appearances.
Manager Keith Curle said: “Mark obviously started the season off very well. We’ve brought in another defender and the way Mark Ellis is a person, he wants to play games. Because the transfer window is closed the only way he could get to do that was by going to a National League club.
“Leyton Orient came in and they’ve got a manager [Steve Davis] who Mark knows from his days at Crewe. Martin Ling is also down there and he was his manager when he was at Torquay. I think the agent has been speaking to them and I had a phone call about the situation yesterday. I spoke at length to Mark and all he wants is to be playing games."
“He obviously knows we’ve brought another defender in who has now played two games," he added. "That has limited Mark's pitch time recently. He's now gone out on loan to continue the good start he's had by playing games.
“Having spoken to him I know he doesn’t want to be here and only play one game in every four or five. He’s a dedicated professional and he wants to be playing games and earning his money. I haven’t got a problem with that.
"I’ve had good conversations with Mark and his wish was that he wanted to go and play some games to keep himself topped up and in match form. I'm more than happy to support that."
Ellis started his career with a three-month loan deal at Torquay, from parent club Bolton, which turned into a permanent move in the summer of 2008.
Over 100 appearances and four years followed with the Gulls, which included a short loan spell with Forest Green Rovers in 2009.
He made the move to Crewe in 2012 and became a regular with the Alex through his two-year stay.
He then signed for the Shrews in May 2014 where he helped them back to promotion to League One at the first attempt.
This deal remains subject to the completion of all relevant paperwork.