The transfer window opened today. STUART WATSON takes a look at what could happen at Ipswich Town. 

Kayden Jackson was among the Ipswich Town players released following promotion.Kayden Jackson was among the Ipswich Town players released following promotion. (Image: Ross Halls)


Several players have departed since promotion to the Premier League was secured. 

Kayden Jackson, Dominic Ball and Panutche Camara have been released, Sone Aluko has retired, Janoi Donacien will return for pre-season in order to get fit (but hasn’t been offered a new deal), while the loan contracts of Omari Hutchinson, Jeremy Sarmiento, Kieffer Moore, Lewis Travis and Brandon Williams have all expired. 

Vaclav Hladky remains in negotiations with the club over a new deal. He’s set to become a free agent at the start of next month if an agreement isn’t reached. 

Freddie Ladapo is among the Town players likely to depart over the coming weeks.Freddie Ladapo is among the Town players likely to depart over the coming weeks. (Image: PA Sport)


Town aren’t under pressure to sell any key men. Promotion should mean that the Blues can keep hold of left-back assist machine Leif Davis. 

There is likely to be some further streamlining of the squad though. 

Young goalkeeper Cieran Slicker has revealed the plan is for him to go out on loan in 2024/25. 

Academy graduates Elkan Baggott, Corrie Ndaba and Idris El Mizouni are all now in the final year of their contracts, having each had multiple loan spells away. I can see Baggott going out on loan again, with Ndaba and El Mizouni being sold for modest fees.  

Is this the year that Cameron Humphreys goes out and gets regular game time on loan? Personally, I think it’s time. He’ll be 21 in October. 

And it looks to me like strikers Freddie Ladapo and Gassan Ahadme, both miles from the first team picture, will see the final year of their contracts ended by mutual consent.  

Will Vaclav Hladky sign a new deal?Will Vaclav Hladky sign a new deal? (Image: Stephen Waller)


Stripping away all the above, Town are left with 16 senior players: 

GK: Walton 

RB: Clarke 

CB: Woolfenden, Burgess, Tuanzebe, Edmundson 

LB: Davis 

CM: Morsy, Luongo, Taylor 

RW: Burns 

AMC: Chaplin 

LW: Broadhead, Harness 

ST: Hirst, Al-Hamadi 

Ipswich would love to bring loan star Omari Hutchinson back - but will he prove to pricey?Ipswich would love to bring loan star Omari Hutchinson back - but will he prove to pricey? (Image: PA) WHAT’S NEEDED? 

That leaves nine ‘senior’ slots to fill within the Premier League’s 25-man squad limit (those born in 2003 or later don't count).

I’m confident Kieran McKenna will max out numbers again. Squad depth has been crucial during back-to-back promotions and will be again.

Two players for every position, plus three extra options for the attacking unit is probably ideal. 

Looking at the above, centre-back is the only area that has healthy numbers - and there's an argument that unit needs some different qualities.

Ultimately, McKenna is probably looking to upgrade/bolster/diversify in every single position this summer.

Some of these slots may, of course, be filled by familiar names. Hladky may well sign a new deal, while there’s potential for Hutchinson, Sarmiento, Moore and even Williams (now a free agent) to return. 

To counter that, even more space could be created for fresh faces. 

Will striker Ali Al-Hamadi – who was playing League Two football just a few months ago – be loaned out? Possibly. 

Will keeper Christian Walton, who sat on the bench all last season and is now in the final year of his contract, push for a move elsewhere? Possibly. 

My estimate is 7-10 new faces through the door. How many of those go straight into the starting XI will be interesting. 



More than 20 players have already been linked to Ipswich since last season ended. 

Here’s a piece assessing several of them and explaining how we’re going to cover the transfer window. 

Colleague Alex Jones is going to take a more in-depth look at the Hutchinson situation in a an article tomorrow, so look out for that. 

Kieran McKenna likes to sign 'young, hungry, technical and athletic' players.Kieran McKenna likes to sign 'young, hungry, technical and athletic' players. (Image: PA)


Soon after taking charge of Town, Kieran McKenna said: "I have very much a clear profile of the type of players I would like. I've spoken to Mark (Ashton) about that from the first interview. 

"We need a balance of different types and different ages, but primarily I want the squad built around a young, hungry, technical and athletic group of players who have a real passion to play for this football club. That will be the base.” 

If you look at the 25 different players he’s brought into the club over four transfer windows so far, other themes include being schooled by elite academies and positional versatility. 

That gives you a good idea of the filters being used in Ashton's 'data dashboard'.



Premier League clubs can have a maximum of two domestic loans at any one time.

You'd imagine Ipswich will be towards the front of the queue when the division's big boys decide where to send their brightest young talent to develop given McKenna's reputation for improving players.

Further loans can be added from abroad, which brings us onto...

The last players Ipswich signed from a foreign league was Keanan Bennetts.The last players Ipswich signed from a foreign league was Keanan Bennetts. (Image: Archant)


All 20 Premier League clubs recruited from outside of the UK and Ireland last season.

Players arrived at clubs from leagues in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Portugal, Ukraine, Turkey, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Serbia, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Nigeria and even Uzbekistan. 

Ipswich haven’t signed a player from outside of the UK and Ireland since taking Keanan Bennetts on loan from Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2020. Before that, you're going back to 2015 when the likes of Jonas Knudsen, Kevin Bru, Piotr Malarcyk, Tommy Oar and Larsen Toure arrived.

“The net’s already been spread," insists chief executive Mark Ashton, when asked if this was the summer the club looked further afield. "The right player has just not dropped for us that we've wanted to do. 

"We’ll continue to do the work and if the right one’s there then we would execute it. If it’s not there then we won’t." 

Matteo Sereni is Ipswich's record transfer fee at £4.5m.Matteo Sereni is Ipswich's record transfer fee at £4.5m. (Image: PA Archive/PA Images)


Town’s record transfer is the £4.5m paid to sign Italian keeper Matteo Sereni back in 2001. 

That will almost certainly be broken this summer given the financial landscape.  

Both Burnley and Sheffield United brought in multiple players for reported £10-15m fees last summer, while even Luton spent £5m on Ryan Giles.

It's been reported that Chelsea want £25-30m for Hutchinson. Too pricey? Time will tell.



Ipswich are backed by wealthy US owners and will see their TV income explode in the Premier League.  

Don’t forget though that millions of pounds are currently being invested in major infrastructure projects at Portman Road and Playford Road. 

There are financial rules to stay within too. Both Everton and Nottingham Forest were docked points last season after breaching the Premier League’s ‘Profit and Sustainability Rules’ (PSR). 

Aston Villa’s proposal to lift the amount of money clubs are currently allowed to lose over a three-year period from £105m to £135m was rejected at the recent AGM, with only one other club in favour, three abstaining and 15 opposed. 

This coming season, a UEFA-style squad cost rule (SCR) and 'top-to-bottom anchoring' model (TBA) will also be trialled as new cost control mechanisms.

SCR means Premier League clubs will be able to spend 85% of their commercial, matchday and media revenues, as well as any profit from player trading, on wages, transfer fees and payments to agents. 

TBA will limit the amount clubs can spend on first team costs to a multiple of the amount the bottom-placed team receives in centralised media and sponsorship income, with 5:1 the proposed ratio.

Town chief executive Mark Ashton (left) and manager Kieran McKenna.Town chief executive Mark Ashton (left) and manager Kieran McKenna. (Image: PA)


Looking ahead to the transfer window, Town chief executive Mark Ashton told the EADT and Ipswich Star: “We won’t be wild and reckless, but we’ll also be brave and bold, as we've done from the first day we walked into the club. 

"I hear noise sometimes, if we haven’t signed four players in the first week of a transfer window, from people saying ‘he said we were going to brave and we haven’t signed anyone yet’. Well, it’s a long transfer window. 

"We’re fairly methodical in what we do. We try and do our homework. We don’t get everything right, but if you look at a percentage we’ve got more right than we’ve got wrong. 

“Recruiting at this level is the same thing, just bigger numbers. What that means is you’ve got to get it right. The mistakes have to be fewer. As the numbers get bigger, mistakes can be harder to recover from. 

“I always say this; You’re always one bad summer window away from a disastrous season.” 



The Premier League season doesn't kick off for another nine weeks (August 17).

The transfer window is open for 11 weeks (closes at 11pm, August 30).

The European Championships start tonight and runs until July 14. That could slow the market down as clubs wait to see who stands out and, in the meantime, hold onto young players to fulfil pre-season obligations.