Ipswich Town haven't utilised the European market since Gamechanger 20 Ltd completed their takeover in April 2021, but CEO Mark Ashton has remained adamant that they're always exploring it.

He argues that the right player needs to come up at the right time for the Blues to make a move, but now they're back in the Premier League, they might be able to unearth some gems at a bargain price.

Alex Jones picks out eight players they could look to sign from abroad this summer....

Andrew – Gil Vicente

Starting off with a name that many fans won’t have heard of, Brazilian goalkeeper Andrew plays for Gil Vicente, who finished 12th in the Liga Portugal last season. However, his catalogue of impressive saves has caught the eye of some big clubs, with PSG, Liverpool and Feyenoord all linked within the last couple of years.

His distribution is good enough to start for a team that plays out from the back, but the clear question mark is whether a step-up of this magnitude would be too much. It's probably easier for a goalkeeper than an outfield player, however.

A report from UOL in Brazil has suggested that Nottingham Forest have enquired about the 22-year-old, indicating that a move to a European heavyweight might not be on the cards just yet. It’s clear that he wouldn’t break the bank despite having a contract until 2026, and given Vaclav Hladky’s age and contract situation, he could be an exciting option to come in.

Saul Coco – UD Las Palmas

Saul Coco joined Las Palmas in 2019 and has worked his way from the fringes of the squad into a crucial starter. He played 31 games in La Liga last season, which was his first at the top level of Spanish football.

CEO Mark Ashton has claimed the Blues will be ambitious in the transfer marketCEO Mark Ashton has claimed the Blues will be ambitious in the transfer market (Image: Ross Halls)

His versatility is impressive for a centre-back. A right-footer, Coco often plays on the right but switches to the other side when Mika Marmol moves to left-back, allowing for a more defensive-minded back line rather than one that uses attacking full-backs.

At 6’2”, he’s a decent size, but his pace is what catches the eye, boasting the ability to catch up with even the fastest attackers in the league. He isn’t exactly a goalscorer, but he’s certainly got a powerful strike in his locker, as shown by his stunning free-kick against Villarreal that won the La Liga Goal of the Month award for October 2023.

Elias Jelert – FC Copenhagen

Some fans might remember Elias Jelert’s name from Manchester United’s Champions League defeat to FC Copenhagen, as he was the man who drew a foul from Marcus Rashford that saw the forward pick up a straight red card.

Elias Jelert faced Manchester United and Manchester City in last season's Champions LeagueElias Jelert faced Manchester United and Manchester City in last season's Champions League (Image: PA)

The 20-year-old started at left-back that evening, but his time on the pitch has been spread between the two flanks. He’s comfortable on either side, making him a valuable addition for any side – particularly Ipswich, who potentially need a starter on the right and cover for Leif Davis on the left.

His attacking numbers aren’t incredible, but he does enjoy pushing up the pitch while being solid defensively. He’ll undoubtedly attract interest this summer, but a move to the Premier League could appeal to him.

Angel Gomes – LOSC Lille

This is arguably the most ambitious name on the list. Whether Ipswich could afford to pay what Lille would ask, never mind convince Angel Gomes to join, would be a big question mark. The midfielder’s links to Kieran McKenna are what make this a viable move.

Angel Gomes worked under Kieran McKenna at Manchester UnitedAngel Gomes worked under Kieran McKenna at Manchester United (Image: PA)

Gomes came through Manchester United’s academy and played for McKenna’s under-18’s before progressing into the first team. Despite becoming the youngest player to represent the Red Devils since 1953, it didn’t work out for him at Old Trafford and he moved to France. He’s now one of Lille’s best players.

The 23-year-old’s size and stature could be an issue in the Premier League, particularly if asked to play in a deeper midfield role where he’d need to offer the back line some protection and not get overrun. His ability to work box to box is really impressive, however, and he ended last season with eight assists in 31 Ligue 1 games.

Jan-Niklas Beste - Heidenheim

Jan-Niklas Beste is a man in demand, which nobody would’ve expected 12 months ago. Arriving in the Bundesliga for the first time in his career, the left winger scored eight goals and provided 11 assists as Heidenheim remarkably qualified for the UEFA Europa Conference League.

His creativity is what really stands out. His crosses into the box are deep and accurate, but his ability to drop back and cover his full-back would also be a big help, particularly with Leif Davis’ desire to drive into the box.

While Sky Germany have reported that his preference would be to remain in the Bundesliga, Everton, Villarreal, Genoa and Galatasaray have all been linked with a move for the 25-year-old. Given that Heidenheim apparently value him at €10 million – with a 'realistic selling price' listed as low as €5 million to €7 million – he’d be a real bargain.

Javi Puado – Espanyol

Although he initially started off at FC Barcelona’s academy, Javi Puado has been at local rivals Espanyol for the last 10 years. He’s coming towards the end of his sixth full season in their first team, having scored 34 goals in 145 appearances.

The Blues could look to add some competition for Wes Burns on the right flankThe Blues could look to add some competition for Wes Burns on the right flank (Image: PA)

The 26-year-old’s versatility is key here. A natural right winger, he’s spent much of the campaign playing up front with former Middlesbrough striker Martin Braithwaite. Puado has 13 goals and two assists to his name in the Segunda Division, having also proven himself at the top level.

Xavi Moron’s side are 1-0 down heading into the second leg of their play-off final against Real Oviedo, and if they fail to make an immediate return to La Liga, Puado might decide that this is a suitable opportunity for him to explore another challenge. He doesn’t have Wes Burns’ red-hot pace, but he’s dangerous in wide areas and a clinical finisher.

Lorenzo Lucca – Pisa

Picking just two strikers for this list was hard. I had four or five international options on my list, and I can promise you that we’ll have a closer look at some of them in the coming weeks. Lorenzo Lucca was one that I couldn’t leave off here, however.

The 23-year-old stands at an astonishing 6’7” – around four inches taller than George Hirst. However, like Hirst, he’s also very agile and more than good enough with the ball at his feet. He’s a strong finisher and, of course, loves a header.

He isn’t quite as physical and aggressive as Kieffer Moore, for example, but his strengths in other areas far outweigh his weaknesses. Things didn’t really work out for him at Ajax, but his recent loan spell at Udinese saw him register eight goals and four assists in Serie A, leading to an Italy call-up and reported interest from Napoli.

Ricardo Pepi – PSV Eindhoven

During his time at MLS outfit FC Dallas, Ricardo Pepi was deemed to be one of the brightest young talents in the United States. His move to Bundesliga side Augsburg couldn’t have gone much worse, however, although his impressive loan spell at relegated Eredivisie outfit Groningen earned him a move back to the Dutch top flight with PSV last summer.

His time there hasn’t been a disaster, playing and scoring in the Champions League as his side stormed to the league title, but minutes have been hard to come by given that first-choice striker Luuk de Jong finished the campaign with 29 goals and 15 assists.

Ricardo Pepi [right] could push for a move this summerRicardo Pepi [right] could push for a move this summer (Image: PA)

Pepi’s agent has come out publicly to say that his situation will need to change quickly for him to remain in Eindhoven. Given that he’s started just once this season – with 26 cameos – seven goals and two assists is a decent total to reach. He ranks top in the league for goals per 90 and shots per 90, as well as various other metrics will catch the eye.

Being a US international, the 21-year-old could appeal to those higher up at Ipswich. His physical traits aren’t too dissimilar to those of Hirst and he’s proved to be a clinical finisher when given the chance. If PSV aren’t willing to sanction a permanent move, a loan surely wouldn’t be off the table.