Fuller Flavour: Let’s hope Hurst has found some more lower league gems
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Karl Fuller takes a look at Ipswich Town’s recent signings, and looks back at some lower league gems that the Blues have discovered in the past.
I travelled for my holidays early on Saturday morning, so by the time you read this we will know how we got on at Rotherham.
On Friday morning, I was wondering who on earth would be lining up for that game given the number of new players that have signed in recent times!
Transfer deadline day is usually known as just a ‘normal’ day for us Town fans. We signed Kayden Jackson, which on any other given deadline day might have been exciting enough just to have made a signing.
But the signings that had already arrived in the preceding days and weeks had certainly given us a decent fix of transfer-ins.
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With the signings of Jon Nolan and Toto Nsiala confirmed last Wednesday, I did wonder how much more business we would achieve. Many Town fans hoped for the arrival of Josh Windass from Rangers but he opted to join Wigan – as did our own Joe Garner which kind of momentarily put a little dampener on the day.
Hot on the heels of Martyn Waghorn leaving the club, to lose both of last seasons’ top-scorers after just one season would seem a little worrying. However, the combined fee received for the pair has been good for the club overall.
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I know some fans are concerned that our permanent signings have come from Leagues One and Two, but the way I view it is that we see Premiership clubs picking off the best of the Championship talent from time-to-time and these players make the grade more often than not. So why should it be any different for a Championship club picking off the best lower-league players?
Recalling players that I have personally seen play for Town in the 21st century alone that joined us from a lower-level of the game, I can think of a few that either joined and left for good money or at the very least, made a good career for themselves at Town. Here are just some of those...
Bartosz Bialkowski - Joined from Notts County in 2014. Maybe the best piece of business done by Town all summer in tying him down on a new contract.
Aaron Cresswell – Joined Town from Tranmere Rovers in 2011 for a fee that was settled by a tribunal and spent three years with us. In 2014, he joined West Ham for over three-and-a-half million pounds.
John McGreal – Another to join from Tranmere in the summer of 1999 for a fee of around £650,000. Whilst McGreal did not move on for a fee to Burnley, he still had an excellent spell with the club which included promotion to the Premier League in 1999/2000 followed by European football.
Adam Webster – Part of the deal that saw Matt Clarke and some cash head in the other direction to Portsmouth in 2016 and 48 games later, we sold him for 3.5 million. Not too bad for a player who struggled with fitness issues for much of his time with us.
Tyrone Mings – Probably the best bit of business Marcus Evans will ever do whilst with us. A 10k punt on a player plying his trade at Chippenham Town in 2012 became an eight-million pounds sale just three years later when he joined AFC Bournemouth.
Matt Holland – Joined from AFC Bournemouth in the summer of 1997 for £800,000 and went on to become one of our greatest Captains of all-time. He played for us in the Premier League and Europe and also for Ireland at the World Cup. We even went on to make a small profit when he joined Charlton in 2003.
David Johnson – A hefty £1.1 million fee saw Johnson join Town from Bury in 1997 and he became a firm favourite helping to guide us to promotion in 1999/2000. Less than a year later, he joined Nottingham Forest for £3.5 million.
Jon Walters – Signed from Chester City for £100k in 2007, Walters had an eye-catching three-years with us before joining Stoke City for an initial £2.75 million deal in August 2010.
Kieffer Moore – Another to join for 10k when signing from Forest Green Rovers in January 2017. After a successful loan spell at Rotherham and just 11 Town appearances later, he joined Barnsley for around 750k in January 2018.
Of course, there have been many signings that have not worked out, but until you try, you just don’t know. Hopefully there are some more gems to be unearthed within the latest crop of newly-signed Town players!