Tilt handed in a transfer request to force through a switch to Ipswich... but he's had an up-and-down time since move fell through
PUBLISHED: 18:00 22 November 2019
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If things had worked out differently, Curtis Tilt could easily have been lining up for Ipswich Town against Blackpool tomorrow afternoon.
The central defender was a top target of former Ipswich manager Paul Hurst, who spent much of his one summer at Portman Road chasing the central defender as a replacement for Adam Webster.
Tilt, who had previously risen through the non-league ranks with Halesowen, Hednesford, Telford and Wrexham before joining the Tangerines in 2017, certainly fit the bill.
He is powerful, quick and was regarded as one of the best central defenders outside of the top two divisions of English football.
He was in demand following one impressive season in Blackpool, with Hurst and Ipswich thinking they had done enough to secure him on a number of occasions, with bidding topping £800,000, only for the goalposts to continually move at the order of then Blackpool owner Owen Oyston. Despite suggesting otherwise, he ultimately refused to sell for anything less than £1.2million.
Tilt handed in a transfer request in a bid to force the move but it never came, despite talks being resurrected in the hours leading up to the loan deadline at the end of August 2018.
Hurst ultimately brought in Matthew Pennington from Everton instead.
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Tilt, now 28, was praised by former Blackpool Gary Bowyer for the way he handled the situation but the saga has clearly had an impact.
He was once again an important player for Blackpool last season, which brought transfer interest from Rotherham this summer but, just as it did when Ipswich came calling, a move that certainly interested Tilt came to nothing and he stayed put.
This is likely to be his final season at Bloomfield Road, given he's refusing to sign a new deal and will become a free agent when his current contract expires in the summer.
He's not met his usual high standards this season, although he's certainly still contributed to his side's impressive start to the campaign, but errors resulting in goals and putting through his own net at Accrington have seen him suffer the wrath of the Blackpool fans on a number of occasions.
He was substituted just a few minutes after a costly error gave away a goal against MK Dons in September, removing his shirt and heading straight down the tunnel to the frustration of those watching on at Bloomfield Road.
After returning to watch from the bench before full-time, he later apologised publicly and privately, insisting his reaction was one of frustration at his own performance rather than disrespect for the team or its fans.
He's now having to make do with a place on the bench after a red card against Burton saw him lose his league place to on-loan Norwich defender James Husband.
That means he could well miss out on playing at Portman Road this weekend, just as he did when his move fell through 18 months ago.