Could any of these 14 players be Ipswich Town’s next Premier League loan star?
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Ryan Fraser and Tom Lawrence have both been Premier League loan stars for Ipswich Town in recent years. Stuart Watson looks at who might be next.
Forward Chuba Akpom, 21, missed the first half of last season with a back problem then failed to impress during a loan spell at Brighton (one start, nine substitute appearances). Capped by England at various youth levels, he’s has previous temporary spells at Brentford, Coventry, Nottingham Forest and Hull.
Town may also consider bringing Ainsley Maitland-Niles back to Portman Road. The 19-year-old, who made 32 appearances for the Blues during a season-long switch in 2015/16, started four cup games for the Gunners last season and is part of the England Under-20 squad this summer.
Mick McCarthy liked the midfielder’s work-rate and versatility, but reportedly was left an x-rated voice message from the player’s mum during his time in Suffolk.
Former Blues boss Joe Royle oversees youth development at Everton and has said he’s always happy to help Town, but he may have been disappointed by the lack of game time Mick McCarthy gave Toffees midfielder Conor Grant during a curtailed loan spell towards the start of last season.
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Everton’s Under-23s, managed by former Town defender David Unsworth, have just won the inaugural Premier League 2 (Under-23) title. Ronald Koeman has handed several young players their senior debuts, but may feel one or two might benefit from a loan spell.
Winger Kieran Dowell, who is left-footed but plays on the right, has scored and created goals for fun. Skilled and tenacious midfielder Liam Walsh runs games from the middle of the park. Harry Charsley’s best role is a No.10 or winger, but he has played in virtually every position and has an irrepressible work-rate.
Ben Woodburn may have claimed all the headlines by becoming Liverpool’s youngest-ever goalscorer, but fellow Anfield academy teenager Harry Wilson bagged 27 goals for the Under-23s. Not bad for a winger. The 20-year-old, who has been capped by Wales at senior level, had a previous loan spell at Crewe in League One and could benefit from some Championship experience.
Left-winger Josh Sims, 20, was man-of-the-match on his full Premier League debut last November, providing an assist in a 1-0 win against Everton. He made six more appearances in the league, all as sub, and started games in the FA Cup and UEFA Cup. Likes to drive at his marker, provides killer ball and is a clinical finisher.
Quick and skilful, Belgium Under-21 striker Julien Ngoy was linked to the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United before joining Stoke from Club Brugge at the age of 15.
He made five substitute appearances in the Premier League last season and, now aged 19, may be set for a loan.
Scottish U21 striker Oliver McBurnie scored 23 times as Swansea were promoted to the top-tier of the academy leagues.
The 6ft 2in front man scored twice on his senior debut, a 3-1 win at Peterborough in the EFL Cup, and made five substitute appearances in the Premier League.
Town have strong links with Tottenham given academy chief Bryan Klug spent two years working there.
Mauricio Pochettino has many of the Under-23s training with the first team regularly and integrated the likes of Harry Winks and Josh Onomah into the team.
One or two of the academy stars may benefit from competitive loan action though. Left-footed striker Shayon Harrison, 19, spent the second half of last season on loan at League Two side Yeovil. Attacking midfielder Marcus Edwards, 18, is a diminutive dribbler who has been dubbed ‘Mini Messi’ around Spurs’ training ground, while midfielder-turned-striker Shilow Tracey, 19, had a trial at Ipswich back in November 2015.
Fleet-footed and fearless winger Jonathan Leko, 18, made his Premier League debut at 16. Looks set for a loan spell in the Championship and it’s Town, reportedly, who are most interested in his signature.
Ex-Barnsley striker Ashley Fletcher is the man Ipswich have really wanted for a while, but plenty of other clubs are now ahead of them in the queue. Huddersfield is reportedly his likely loan destination.
Marcus Browne is a more realistic hammers loan target, The 19-year-old attacking midfielder had an injury-hit loan spell at Wigan last season, but was among the nominees for Premier League 2 Player of the Season.
Town have plenty of links to West Ham’s academy through the likes of former staff members Liam Manning, Terry Westley and Jordan Myles.