Southend United release Chris Barker as Adam Thompson joins

Chris Barker (left) battles with Crewe's Max Clayton

Southend have released defender Chris Barker and signed Watford centre-back Adam Thompson on loan until January.

Thompson, 20, joins after Shrimpers full-back Julian Bennett was ruled out for six months with a knee injury.

Veteran defender Barker, 33, agreed a mutual termination of his contract, ending a three-year stay at Roots Hall.

"Unfortunately for Chris he wasn't part of my plans. I wish him all the best - he is great professional," manager Phil Brown told the club's website.

"I just felt the time was right for him to move. He's had an excellent career with Southend and I know the fans truly appreciate him."

Northern Ireland international Thompson spent a month each with League Two sides Barnet and Wycombe last season but made only two starts.

He did, however, play 20 matches in League One in the previous campaign during two loan spells with Brentford.

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