Norwood training with U23s and transfer-listed by Ipswich Town
- Credit: Pagepix
Ipswich Town striker James Norwood has been a notable absentee from the recent cup games against Oldham and Colchester. STUART WATSON and ANDY WARREN report on the front man's situation.
Ipswich Town striker James Norwood has been training with the club’s Under-23s for several weeks and been made available for transfer in January, we understand.
The 31-year-old hasn’t been involved in a matchday squad since early October and was a notable absentee from the recent cup games against Oldham and Colchester United.
He impressed Paul Cook with his physical condition and attitude in pre-season, avoiding the Blues boss’ big summer cull, and has been determined to fight for his place at Portman Road.
However, the club's new hierarchy have taken an increasingly dim view on some of the front man's off-field behaviour and decided that the time has now come for him to move on.
It was seen as a real coup when Town beat Championship clubs to the prolific goalscorer’s Bosman free transfer signature in 2019 after he had fired Tranmere from the National League into League One.
He went on to twice be the Blues’ top-scorer (11 in 2019/20 and 10 in 2020/21), despite repeated injury niggles and set-backs.
Norwood is understood to have led the way in several pre-season physical tests at Playford Road, but just two games into the campaign he was limping off from the Carabao Cup defeat to Newport with a hamstring problem.
He recovered from that set-back to start and score against West Ham U21s in the Papa John’s Trophy, but just two more sub outings followed in early October.
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The former Exeter and Forest Green man will soon be entering the final six months of his three-year deal and, despite having Macauley Bonne and Joe Pigott ahead of him in the pecking order, has made it clear he wants to stay in Suffolk.
Whether Town would entertain offers from potential League One promotion rivals midway through this campaign remains to be seen.
The likes of Portsmouth and Plymouth have previously shown interest, as have his previous employers Tranmere and fellow League Two club Bristol Rovers.