Forget his age and past – Bowyer has pedigree

Forget his age and controversial past – Ipswich Town would be signing a player of real pedigree in Lee Bowyer.

The 34-year-old has spent all 18 of his seasons employed by a top-flight club, making more than 400 appearances in the Premier League.

He’s scored goals against the likes of AC Milan and Barcelona, played at the semi-final stage of both the Champions League and UEFA Cup and been capped by England.

And while those achievements may be long gone, let’s not forget that this is a man who lifted the Carling Cup at Wembley little over five months ago.

On the one occasion he did drop down a level – a loan spell at Birmingham in 2008/9 – the Midlands club achieved promotion.

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Yes, the Londoner has been caught up in unsavoury off-field incidents at the start of his career – but with age he has appeared to mature in that respect.

And while he continues to be a player that opposition supporters love to hate on the pitch – a record number of Premier League yellow cards tells you all you need to know in that respect – rivals bosses will all reluctantly admit that his ultra competitive character is something they’d all love in their team.

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The fact that Queens Park Rangers, Leeds and Nottingham Forest have all shown interest in him this summer confirms as much.

Ipswich Town have seemingly won the race for his signature though and, chances are, he could even be given the vacant captain’s armband at Portman Road.

Previous Blues boss Roy Keane said the team needed more strong-willed characters with a winning mentality. Now Jewell has got one.


Position: Centre-midfield Age: 34 Born: London

– Made his name at Charlton, playing for the England Under-21s, before Leeds snapped him up for �2.8m in 1996.

– A key player at Elland Road as David O’Leary’s team reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup (2000) and Champions League (2001). Capped once for England during that time.

– After six seasons at the Yorkshire club he signed for West Ham. Injuries limited his appearances and the Hammers were relegated.

– Signed for Newcastle that summer. His three season spell there is best remembered for his on-field brawl with team-mate and ex-Ipswich player Kieron Dyer.

– Rejoined West Ham in 2006 but again was limited by injury.

– Loaned to Birmingham in 2008/9 where he helped the Blues secure promotion from the Championship.

– Joined them permanently soon afterwards and was a key player as the Midlands side finished ninth – their best finish in over 50 years.

– Helped Birmingham win the Carling Cup with a 2-1 victory over Arsenal last season but released following the club’s dramatic relegation.

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