Jim's deals - the good, bad and ugly

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton has flashed the cash in the last eights months in an attempt to turn the Blues into a Premier League club thanks to the backing of club owner Marcus Evans.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton has flashed the cash in the last eights months in an attempt to turn the Blues into a Premier League club thanks to the backing of club owner Marcus Evans.

Magilton has spent the £12million but how successful have his signings been? ELVIN KING investigates.

JIM MAGILTON SIGNINGS


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Pre-Marcus Evans

ALEX BRUCE (free): took a while to find his feet and booked umpteen times early on as he stretched to make an impact. As steady now as anyone. Signing rating (out of ten): 7.

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DAN HARDING (makeweight in Ian Westlake move to Leeds): regular in 2006/07 but given the boot after a defeat at Charlton last season when given little cover by Gary Roberts. On loan at Southend. 5.

MARTIN BRITTAIN (free): failed to make any impression and just Carling Cup substitute appearance. 4.

SYLVAIN LEGWINSKI (free): did very well in first and won player of the year trophy, but age caught up with last season. 6.

GARY ROBERTS (fee): flattered to deceive early on, but lost confidence and fell away. 5.

GEORGE O'CALLAGHAN (free): spent several weeks on trial before signing, but unable to make the grade and now returned to Irish football. 4

IAN MILLER (free): Gamble on the player moving up from non-league Bury Town, but did not happen. 5.

NEIL ALEXANDER (free): did very well and responsible for very few goals in first half of last season. Dream move to Rangers led to his departure. 7.

JON WALTERS (fee): has performed consistently well and can be deemed Magilton's best signing. 8.

DAVID WRIGHT (fee): his Premier League pedigree often shows through, but will have to fight for a regular place with the arrival of Volz and Thatcher. 6.

PABLO COUNAGO (free): Spaniard loves playing in England and on his Portman Road form few strikers better in division. Away displays are improving. 7.

TOMMY MILLER (free): another who Magilton brought back to the club. Consistent performer, who the manager would like to have seen more goals from. 7.

Completed loan deals

Mark Noble in particular was a smart capture, and Mike Pollitt (one game on win over Norwich) and Matthew bates (injured in his second game) were altogether too brief successes. Simon Walton also did well and Jon Macken had his moments. Overall 7.

Post-Marcus Evans

DAVID NORRIS (fee): at £2million has a lot to live up to after Magilton earmarked him long before his capture from Plymouth. Yet to come up trumps. 6.

ALAN QUINN (fee): looks to now be down the pecking order behind likes of Liam Trotter. Has played well at times. 6.

VELICHE SHUMULIKOSKI (fee): no doubting his international class, and his style fits into English football. But hasn't moved on to make a place his own. 6.

NICK COLGAN (free): signed as cover for loanee Stephen Bywater and did not make a first team appearance. 6.

GARETH McAULEY (fee): like Norris, the central defender had been chased by Magilton for some time. Still to full the faith his manager has put in him. 6

PIM BALKESTEIN (fee): young Dutch defender has come from nowhere to be on fringe of the side. One for the future hopefully. 6.

RICHARD WRIGHT (fee): can be found wanting for three goals have conceded so far this season. Being back home should improve his confidence. 6.

KEVIN LISBIE (fee): did exceptionally well last season, but more goals for Colchester in 2007/08 than in nine years with Charlton. Shaping up well. 7.

BEN THATCHER (free): at 32 and with bags of top flight experience he has settled in well. Looks like filling a troublesome position. 8.

IVAN CAMPO (free): aged 34 has been brought in to help protect the back four. And to add a Hull-like mix of experience and youth to gain promotion. 7.

MORITZ VOTZ (current loan): Another with top flight experience to get Town upwardly mobile this year. Early signs are encouraging. 7.

JON STEAD (current loan): how much will he add that Alan Lee couldn't? Time will tell but at his best can become a force. ?.

Completed loan deals

Bywater, Danny Simpson and Shefki Kuqi were unable to get the Blues into the play-offs last season, with the keeper often looking at sea and Kuqi picking up injuries. 5.

To sum up, Magilton's deals are improving, and without doubt it takes time for a new set of players to gel. So better times look to be ahead for Town fans - and the Blues boss.

One downside will be the number of players now in his current first team squad, which numbers 27 - surely the most in the history of Ipswich Town - and with a possible two new loan signings next week.

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