Credit where credit’s due, Ipswich Town owner has delivered with capture of Emyr Huws
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Like him or not, Marcus Evans has delivered this time, signing Emyr Huws on a multi-million pound, four-year deal.
The Ipswich Town owner has received his fair share of criticism from fans and the media alike since taking over the club, much of it being warranted.
His reluctance to connect with the fans directly has added fuel to the fire when accusations of a lack of investment in the Blues’ squad have been levelled at him.
Selling the family silver has further exacerbated the issue, and the inability to replace Daryl Murphy – sold for £3m to Newcastle last season – was one of the contributing factors to Town recording their lowest league finish for 58 years in May.
However, he’s had his fingers burnt on several occasions too.
The likes of Lee Martin – who penned an initial four-year deal – Paul Taylor, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Tamas Priskin all arrived at Portman Road commanding seven-figure fees and on big wages.
All four went on to leave for free, having failed to flourish.
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However, established first-teamers such as Grant Leadbitter, Gareth McCauley and David Norris also left for free – the owner coming in for stick where their exits where concerned.
His investment in players has been mixed, but the signing of Huws today ticks several boxes and fits in with his own five-point plan for Town’s future.
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Huws is young, talented and, provided he cuts the mustard, will command a sell-on fee, just like Adam Webster and Grant Ward.
Mick McCarthy left Evans clear at the end of last season that Huws was a priority if not THE priority and the owner delivered.
Whether or not four-year deals become the norm is unknown, Evans will still be cautious, and short-term deals and loans have worked at times under McCarthy.
The length of the Huws deal is a little risky – players have impressed on loan in the past only to fail to keep up their standards after signing permanently.
But this is a deal everyone wanted and after a depressing couple of years, Huws’ emergence provided a glimpse of possible better times ahead.
His goal against Newcastle will hopefully be the first of many memorable strikes and if that’s the case, then Evans deserves to take some credit.