Andrews fits Jewell’s profile perfectly
IT would be easy for Town fans to be a little non-plussed about the pursuit of Keith Andrews.
This has nothing to do with the player himself. A 29-year-old with 300 games at all levels and 20 international caps should not be sniffed at.
No, the problem with Keith Andrews is that he is not a defender. Nor Jimmy Bullard.
Starting with the latter, there will be many supporters that assume the signing of another midfielder will spell the end of any chance of a romantic reunion with the shaggy-haired playmaker.
And they would be right, well sort of. Andrews’ imminent arrival should end any hope of Bullard returning but who knows how much real hope there was anyway?
Whether he has played his last game for the Tigers or not, after reportedly being told to stay away from the club following his two-week suspension, Bullard’s wages made a return to Portman Road virtually impossible. Paul Jewell himself said so.
Then there is the fact that Andrews is not a centre back – the top priority for virtually every Town fan, not to mention the manager as well.
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But just because Jewell is spending every waking moment trying to secure a stopper doesn’t mean he is ignoring any other options. If that had been the case, David Stockdale might never have arrived at Portman Road.
Plus, signing Andrews on a season-long loan means he won’t be playing for a Championship rival, for instance Town’s gain is Leeds United’s loss if you believe the reports.
The eighth new signing, something that should be confirmed within the next 24 hours, fits Jewell’s summer recruitment drive down to a tee.
Andrews has a Premier League pedigree but also knows what is required in the lower leagues. He is experienced while also having something to prove after a stop-start last 12 months with Blackburn.
Having made 72 appearances for Wolves, where he was once the club’s youngest captain for more than 100 years, Andrews really made his name at the MK Dons where he led the side to the play-off semi-finals and then promotion to League One a year later.
In 2008, he signed for Blackburn for around �1 million, where he was reunited with former Dons manager Paul Ince and often occupied a defensive midfield role – something that Jewell might have earmarked for him at Ipswich.
Andrews, who is halfway through a four-year contract with Rovers, has not always won over the Ewood Park faithful but he ended last season in perfect fashion, scoring his second international goal in the Republic of Ireland’s 2-0 victory over Italy.