Free transfers could be key for Jewell
PAUL Jewell’s wheeling and dealing in the transfer market will be the difference between success and failure for the Blues next season.
The Blues boss has already said he needs four or five new signings, but it could be even more following the recent departures of defender Gareth McAuley and club captain David Norris.
The public pursuit of Doncaster Rovers duo Billy Sharp and James Coppinger shows there is money available to help the cause. But however much Marcus Evans backs Jewell in his first full pre-season at the club, the owner will not provide a bottomless pit.
Therefore Jewell will surely have to raid the free transfer market, alongside a few expensive captures, in a bid to mould a winning team next season.
The Green ‘Un looks at eight possible free transfers that could tempt Town as well as naming a pretty decent Championship squad from those expected to be out of contract this summer.
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THE man every Ipswich Town fan loves to hate is perversely one of the strikers on the top of supporters’ wish-list. The forward is still mulling over a deal with his current club Portsmouth. But with their own transfer problems continuing, Nugent might look elsewhere. After already being unsuccessful in the Premier League, he might have to be content with a Championship club and there is surely going to be interest. Nugent himself has said he wants his future sorted out by the end of the month and any player who scores 14 goals in a season, and would cost nothing in transfer fees, must be looked at. Nugent and Town have history, but he could help make the present and the future that little bit more successful.
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THE all-action Crystal Palace midfielder would be a popular pursuit among Town fans and he knows the area – having spent almost two years at Colchester United. While maybe not the creative spark Jewell desperately craves, Danns would complement Grant Leadbitter while also being a more-than-adequate replacement for David Norris. Like the departing Blues skipper, Danns also weighs in with his fair share of goals, eight last season in a struggling Palace side where he also topped the assists chart. Hull City are reportedly the favourites to land the Liverpool-born midfielder, but he would be a great acquisition for Town.
THE darling of the North Stand left Portman Road as a boy wonder before returning for a rather underwhelming one-month loan spell in March. In between, of course, Dyer’s career has been constantly plagued by injuries and he looked woefully short of match fitness following another poor personal season, which has reportedly ended with his departure from West Ham. His next move could be his last and he could well relish a third-coming at Ipswich. This might be a case of the manager needing more convincing than the player, but Jewell made all the right noises during Dyer’s brief sojourn in Suffolk. Could be worth a pay-as-you-play gamble.
ANYONE who saw Nottingham Forest exit the play-off semi-finals can testify to the lightning speed of Nathan Tyson. While anyone who has seen anything of Ipswich Town over the last few seasons will know that speed is a rare commodity from the men in blue. Put the two together and there could be a perfect match. Tyson has already been linked with a move to Ipswich in the summer – who hasn’t – having failed to nail down a regular place with Forest last season. Never a prolific goalscorer at the City Ground, Tyson could still be a shrewd free signing, alongside a more prolific marksman.
THE right side of a back four was a constant problem for Ipswich last season and rightly seen as a key area to strengthen this summer. So it is somewhat handy that a young right-back, hungry for matches, and with (limited) experience of Suffolk has come on the market. The Dutch defender this week came out and said he was leaving West Brom after losing patience with his lack of match action at the Hawthorns. In fact, he got more minutes in his three-week loan spell with Ipswich than the rest of the league season at West Brom. Some will rightly point to Zuiverloon’s poor debut, the 4-1 defeat at Norwich, but he was showing signs of settling and improving before his loan spell was cut short.
ALONG with pace, creativity must be a key attribute in Jewell’s thinking and Chris Burke falls right into that latter bracket. Having been released by Cardiff City, the Scottish winger has tricks in abundance. Reports suggest he is looking to move back to his native country but maybe Town left-back Mark Kennedy can have a word with his former team mate and sell him life in Suffolk. Though he has arguably had his least productive season with Cardiff, Burke would be a great addition to any Championship team and is the right age to still have something to prove after suffering play-off heartache in the last two seasons.
SCEPTICS might claim that Kevin Phillips is too old to even be considered. But there is one person who could really benefit from an old sage – Connor Wickham. Ipswich Town are blessed to have such a young talent on board, but Wickham is still learning his trade and Phillips is just the man to help him on his path. But make no mistake about it, Phillips strikes me as having the confidence and ambition of a man, well half his age. After Birmingham City’s relegation, there is still a chance KP might stay in the Midlands. Either way, the Championship seems a realistic destination and mark my words, Kevin Phillips will score goals in the second tier of English football – regardless of his age.
SOMEONE so young on a free transfer, there must be something wrong with him? The fact Barnes has today been released by West Brom after failing to set the Premier League alight is a source of concern. But this was someone who just a few years ago had the football world raving, until falling foul of a serious of injuries. The one person who will know whether Barnes is worth a chance could be none other than Paul Jewell. He would have seen Barnes’ talent first-hand during his non-descript spell at Derby County where he spent a large amount of time fending off potential suitors. Barnes’ career has stuttered somewhat of late. Could his old boss be the man to resurrect it?
And how about this for a squad made up of this summer’s free transfers?
Kieren Westwood, Jlloyd Samuel, Danny Shittu, Claude Davis, Pascal Chimbonda, Wade Elliott, Gavin Rae, Lee Bowyer, Bradley Johnson, Robert Earnshaw, Nathan Ellington. Subs: Richard Garcia, Michael Brown, Lee Carsley, Michael McIndoe, Craig Fagan.
n What out-of-contract players do you think Paul Jewell should be targeting and why? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org