Re-ranking Town's 19 summer signings at the halfway stage of season

Ipswich Town's 19 summer signings

Mark Heath has re-ranked Ipswich Town's 19 summer signings at the halfway stage of the season - Credit: Archant

It's the halfway point of the League One season and Ipswich Town have a new manager. Mark Heath uses that as an excuse to look back at his ranking of Town's 19 summer signings, see how much he got wrong and re-rank them...

George Edmundson applauding fans after the game.

George Edmundson has been superb for Ipswich Town - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

1) George Edmundson (up from 13th)

There's going to be a lot of humble/mince pie eating on this list, so let's start with a big old bite.

Back in September, I put The Fridge 13th on my list - a decision that esteemed colleague Andy Warren was openly scornful of.

Turns out, not for the first time, that Warren was right.

After some initial injury issues, Edmundson has been superb, probably Town's most consistent player of a very inconsistent season so far.

There's a really classy feel about the ex-Rangers man, and he's also not afraid to do the physical stuff too. I was very wrong, George - please forgive me.

Macauley Bonne celebrates after scoring to level the game at 2-2.

Macauley Bonne has netted 11 times so far - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller.com

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2) Macauley Bonne (up from 7th)

I think we all thought Macca would prove to be a good signing, but I'm not sure we expected this.

Bonne, behind fellow summer capture Joe Pigott on the initial striker depth chart, quickly made the spot his own with an unbelievable start to the season, beginning with that late leveller on opening day.

He netted 10 goals in his first 13 games, and was generally at the heart of what Town did well. That sneaky play against Sheffield Wednesday to set up the equaliser will live long in the memory.

He's currently mired in a bit of a goal drought - nine games without a strike - but still deserves to be high on this list.

Wes Burns celebrates his second half goal at Adams Park against Wycombe.

Wes Burns is a key part of the Town squad - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

3) Wes Burns (up from 12th)

Back in September, I wrote of Burns "he's got bags of pace and threat, but I still can't help wondering if he's going to be Gwion Edwards mark two - a player with so much potential, but lacking consistency."

At the time, I said I hoped to be proved wrong - and so I have.

Burns brings a directness and excitement to the Blues that no-one else really does. It's no coincidence, either, that Bonne's recent struggles have come with Burns missing from the side.

Came back and impressed against Sunderland. His return will be a huge boost for Town's new boss.

Sam Morsy applayds fans after the game.

Sam Morsy is Town's captain and leader - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller - stephenw

4) Sam Morsy (down from 2nd)

Town's captain, the last signing of a summer like no other - you have to call it that now - hasn't quite been the force of nature we were promised he'd be by ex-boss Paul Cook.

He's been up and down at times - notably down in that dreadful Charlton showing - but it's clear that when's he on, Town generally perform well.

The combative, driven midfielder wants to prove Town's season is not dead yet - you get the feeling his best displays in a Town shirt are still to come.

Ipswich Town goalkeeper Christian Walton during the Sky Bet League One match at the Valley, London.

Christian Walton is Town's undisputed first choice keeper - Credit: PA

5) Christian Walton (up from 15th)

Another man whom history shows I was not kind enough to back in September.

The big stopper has made the starting spot his own and has been brilliant at times, as well as bringing a calm authority and understated leadership to the team as well.

He's been linked with a recall to Brighton in January and possible sale to a Championship side - one hopes that, if Walton is indeed available to buy, Town will be right in the mix, waving some of that Gamechanger cash around.

Conor Chaplin celebrate his and TownÕs opening goal

Conor Chaplin has scored six goals for Town - Credit: Ray Lawrence

6) Conor Chaplin (down from 5th)

Pretty much a non-mover in my list, so finally one I got about right.

Chaplin's looked decent whenever he's played, and had spells where he looked as though he'd be the first choice 10 in Cook's beloved 4-2-3-1 system.

Scored six goals in 24 games, and has an edge about him which I really like - whenever there's a bit of a scrap on the pitch, Chaplin tends to be in the centre of it.

Bersant Celina celebrates his goal just before the break with a lift from teammate Sone Aluko.

Bersant Celina scored Town's goal of the season so far - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

7) Bersant Celina (down from 1st)

Back in September, fresh off that thrilling 19-signing window, Celina seemed the obvious choice to top this list.

Because of the sort of player he is though, I suppose it's not unexpected that he's drifted a bit - he's been sensational at times (that wonder goal against Crewe, for example) and a little too anonymous at others.

McKenna will be relishing working with a player of his technical ability and quality though.

Sone Aluko pictured during the Bolton Wanderers game.

Sone Aluko has been a valuable member of the Town squad - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller

8) Sone Aluko (up from 19th)

Ah Sone, I'm so very sorry.

Back in September, I put Aluko rock bottom of this list, arguing that I just couldn't see where he fit into the plan.

Well, far from just fit into the plan, he's been a big part of it. Aluko's played all over the pitch, looked class in the 10 spot against Sunderland, and scored three goals too.

A very, very useful player who gives McKenna a range of options and some top flight pedigree. I got this very wrong.

Kyle Edwards takes a corner.

Kyle Edwards is an electrifying talent - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

9) Kyle Edwards (down from 3rd)

I love Kyle Edwards - a player with so much excitement and threat. But, unfortunately, as has often been levelled at him throughout his career, he's still lacking an end product.

Of course, it's not all his fault if players fail to convert the chances he creates, but we just need to see a few more numbers from the mercurial talent in the second half of the season. 

Another player with wonderful ability though - McKenna should like him.

Scott Fraser takes a Town free-kick.

Scott Fraser has yet to find a role he can make his own - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

10) Scott Fraser (down from 8th)

Another player with great technical ability, I think Fraser - as much as anyone else in the squad - has struggled with finding a consistent fit.

He came in as the consensus best number 10 in the league, but has barely played there, instead often being pushed wide left or on occasions dropping into the deep midfield two.

He certainly has quality though, and the eye for a pass - I can see him playing an important role under the new boss.

Joe Pigott hits the post this strike early in the second half.

Striker Joe Pigott has had limited opportunities to impress - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

11) Joe Pigott (down from 10th)

Pigott's not really moved much in this list, and I feel like we're still waiting to see what he can really do.

Because of Bonne's form and Cook's system, he's spent a lot of time on the bench and playing limited minutes as a sub, but perhaps he'll get more of a chance under McKenna, playing as part of a front two.

Will have to battle the resurgent James Norwood in that respect, of course. He's scored three goals in 19 games so far - I still reckon he'll hit double figures.

Hayden Coulson on his debut.

We've not seen much of Hayden Coulson - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller

12) Hayden Coulson (down from 6th)

The man brought in on loan from Middlesbrough to be Town's starting left back has shown his undoubted quality at times.

The problem is though, we've barely seen him.

Coulson's played just six games so far, and hasn't been seen since coming off early in that thumping win over Wycombe at the start of November. Lordy, that feels like a lifetime ago.

Under Cook we never got injury updates, so we've no idea where Coulson is or how far he could be from a return. Hopefully McKenna will shed some light on that in the coming days and weeks.

Lee Evans celebrates scoring Towns fifth to complete his hat-trick in the Ipswich Town v Doncaster R

Lee Evans bagged a hat-trick against Doncaster, but has struggled with consistency - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

13) Lee Evans (up from 14th)

Evans has been too hit and miss to merit being any higher up this list, sadly.

Scored a hat-trick against Doncaster and has largely been Morsy's midfield partner, but really needs to up his levels and be consistent every game.

There's a lot of traffic in midfield, and the man immediately below him on this list will fancy his chances of taking Evans' spot....

Tom Carroll during the FA Cup replay at Barrow

Tom Carroll could well benefit from Kieran McKenna's arrival - Credit: Pagepix

14) Tom Carroll (up from 18th)

Perhaps more than any other player on this list, Carroll could be boosted by McKenna's arrival.

He's known to the new boss from his Spurs days and has serious top flight pedigree and technical ability. McKenna must be relishing working with him again.

When Carroll's played, he's generally shown that he can be a factor at this level. As ever with Carroll though, it's about keeping fit - he's only played eight games thus far.

Matt Penney pictured during the game against Millwall.

Matt Penney has often started at left back - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller

15) Matt Penney (up from 16th)

Penney's been Town's most consistent left back starter, playing 19 games so far and scoring once, a belter at Cheltenham.

He can get forward and whip in some dangerous balls, but he can also be a bit too lackadaisical with his defensive duties and let sides get too many crosses in from his flank.

Still, a good squad player at this level.  You'd expect Town to be in the left back market again in January though.

Rekeem Harper celebrates converting his penalty at Portman Road against Colchester Utd

Rekeem Harper needs to find a position in 2022 - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

16) Rekeem Harper (down from 9th)

I can't believe I'm putting 'The Dream' this low. The man who started the season telling us all he was 'a beast' and starting in one of those deep midfield roles has just never got going.

Like Fraser, he's struggled with a lack of identity. Paul Cook swiftly decided Evans and Morsy were his duo in that midfield two, and tried Harper further up the pitch as an impact sub.

That never really caught fire either, and the 21-year-old's kind of been lost in the shuffle. Another who could be reinvigorated under McKenna.

Cameron Burgess applauds fans after the game.

Cameron Burgess has looked shaky at times, especially against pace - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller - stephenw

17) Cameron Burgess (down from 4th)

The biggest faller on my list. I felt that Town had signed a future star at the heart of their defence when I first drew this list up - but I picked the wrong one.

Edmundson has shown himself to be utter class since, while Burgess has been in and out of the side and looked shaky when playing, especially on the turn.

Was given a torrid time by League Two strikers in the Barrow defeat and you'd say is now behind Luke Woolfenden on the depth chart at the back. Has work to do in the second half of the season.

Ipswich Town goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky organises the wall during the pre-season friendly match at Por

Vaclav Hladky has struggled with the step up from League Two - Credit: PA

18) Vaclav Hladky (down from 17th)

The jump from League Two to League One has certainly proved bigger than Hladky could have predicted, with the Czech stopper firmly in a back-up role as it stands.

Played 13 games, but always makes you a little nervous when he's between the sticks and now won't have any cup/trophy games in which to further his cause.

Louie Barry in action at Burton Albion.

Louie Barry looks certain to be heading back to Aston Villa in January - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

19) Louie Barry (down from 11th)

The Aston Villa loanee signed to much fanfare and excitement, but it's just never got going for him.

The arrival of Celina on deadline day pushed him down the depth chart to the extent he's only played six games and hasn't been seen since the trophy clash with Colchester on November 9th.

He'll surely be on his way back to Villa Park in January, and heading out on another loan.













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