Transfer window is open... A look at the business Ipswich Town need to do
- Credit: Archant
The transfer window opens today and, despite two early additions, Ipswich Town still have a lot of business to do this summer. STUART WATSON assesses the squad.
The Blues are on the look out for a new No.1.
It's understood that both Tomas Holy and David Cornell - both of whom still have a have a year left on their contracts - have been told they can move on this summer.
Yesterday, the Portsmouth News reported that the Blues are keen on signing Craig MacGillivray. That would make a lot of sense.
Pompey have reluctantly released their Player of the Season due to tight finances. The 28-year-old has impressed in games against the Blues. And Ipswich have just recruited Portsmouth's keeper coach John Keeley, who may well be keen to be reunited with a player he worked closely with for three years.
Charlton, whose first choice keeper Ben Amos (31) is out of contract, are also said to be interested.
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Other keepers linked to the Blues include Dundee United's Swiss stopper Benjamin Siegrist (29) and Liverpool and Republic of Ireland youngster Caoimhín Kelleher (22).
The dynamic Kane Vincent-Young looks a dead cert to be Town's starting right-back, if - and this is a big if - he can finally put two years of injury hell behind him.
Town have already signed the versatile Wes Burns from Fleetwood, someone who can play anywhere down the right side.
Will those options be deemed enough? We'll see.
Janoi Donacien looks set to move on, despite the club taking the one-year extension option in his deal.
A minimum of two senior centre-backs are required following the exits of Luke Chambers and James Wilson.
It's understood that Luke Woolfenden is among the players who have been told they can move on this summer if an agreeable bid comes in, but I wonder whether the laid-back 22-year-old is someone who can survive the summer cull and use this kick up the backside as motivation to rediscover his form of 2019/20.
He's certainly the only centre-back at the club I can potentially see starting the opening game of the campaign.
Toto Nsiala could very well be heading for the exit door, while young duo Corrie Ndaba and Elkan Baggott, you would imagine, will require further progressive loan spells before being deemed first team ready.
Luton skipper Sonny Bradley recently turned down an offer from Ipswich to sign a new deal with his Championship employers, while it's understood that Jack Whatmough - who has signed for Wigan after turning down a new deal at Portsmouth - was a player the Blues also carefully considered.
Former Town loanee Callum Connolly, who spent last season at Fleetwood, has been repeatedly linked. He's just been released by Everton and ticks a lot of boxes in terms of age, versatility, combativeness and leadership.
Flying full-backs are what Cook sides are all about - so landing a new left-back will be high on the agenda.
None have been linked thus far so, just for fun, let me throw a name out there as a pure guess. Dutch teenager Ian Maatsen (19) has just enjoyed an impressive season on loan at Charlton from Chelsea. Perhaps Cook will be able to utilise his close connection with former trusted Wigan coach Anthony Barry at Stamford Bridge (who also works for the Republic of Ireland FA).
Myles Kenlock may well stay on as back-up.
Signing former Wolves and Sheffield United man Lee Evans is a coup. He turned down a new deal at Wigan to be reunited with Cook and will bring both precision and strength to the midfield.
Now it's a case of finding out who will play alongside him at the heart of a 4-2-3-1 system.
In an ideal world, that player would be Flynn Downes - who possesses all the competitive qualities Cook's looking for. Downes handed in a transfer request in the summer of 2019 though and, if he's still keen to move on, the Blues boss is unlikely to block the exit door in the way Paul Lambert did. He wants players fully committed to the cause.
Meanwhile, it looks a matter of when, not if, Andre Dozzell departs, with QPR understood to be closing in on his signing.
That leaves Jon Nolan, a player Cook has seen little of so far but is understood to like, and young Brett McGavin, who will probably benefit best from another loan spell.
In short, at least two more central midfielders are probably required.
The EADT and Ipswich Star understands that the Blues are set to make an ambitious move for Rotherham's Matt Crooks as he enters the final year of his deal. The strong and skilful 27-year-old can play as a No.6, No.8 or No.10.
It's also understood that the Blues have shown interest in experienced Hull skipper Richie Smallwood (30), following their promotion to the Championship, as well as Sunderland's Max Power (27), a player Cook worked with at Wigan.
Oxford United's Mark Sykes (23) has also been linked.
New boy Burns may well have been ear-marked for this role, but he'll need competition/cover (especially as he might be needed at right-back at some stage).
Armando Dobra and Jack Lankester are understood to be among those who have been told they can move on.
This is another position that needs strengthening. No-one's been linked yet.
Town took the one-year extension option in Teddy Bishop's contract, but he's among those who have been told they can move on. His hometown club of Cambridge United, newly-promoted to League One, have been linked.
That doesn't leave Ipswich with anyone to hang their hat on for the vitally important No.10 role as it stands.
The aforementioned Crooks could be the man who has been highlighted for that, though whether that ambitious move comes off remains to be seen.
Rising Sunderland star Josh Hawkes (22), who scored plenty of goals for the Black Cats' U23s, is believed to be another target.
Other names will undoubtedly soon emerge.
Idris El Mizouni is another seemingly heading for the exit door.
Town remain in negotiations with Gwion Edwards about a new deal.
If he stays, he looks more likely to finally get some game-time in his favoured left-wing role given that's where he ended the season playing under Cook.
Regardless, Town will need to sign at least one player who can operate on the left wing.
With Cook having made it clear he wants to work with a small squad, there's every chance that versatile players who can operate across a number of the attacking roles are targeted.
Nothing will scream 'ambitious new era' louder than Ipswich signing an exciting new talisman.
James Norwood's goals per game record since joining Ipswich has been impressive, but his numerous injury set-backs are a concern.
He needs someone to take the pressure off his shoulders.
Town are understood to be interested in Colby Bishop (24), who has scored 12 goals in each of the last two seasons for Accrington, and Charlie Wyke (28), who scored 31 goals across all competitions for Sunderland in the season just gone.
The Blues have also been linked to Preston target man Jayden Stockley (27), who scored eight goals for Charlton during the second half of last season, along with Portsmouth, Charlton and Rotherham.
Kayden Jackson, Oli Hawkins and Aaron Drinan could all be part of the summer cull.
Jackson, whose one-year extension clause was triggered, is likely to be used as a bargaining chip for a trade deal, though Hawkins may yet be kept on as a squad player given he can also play at centre-back.