Seven players who could leave Ipswich Town this summer
- Credit: Archant
While Ipswich Town will look to make signings in key areas this summer, there are a number of players who could leave Portman Road too. Mark Heath takes a look at a few potential outgoings.
Back-up stopper Hladky looks to be among the most likely to depart Suffolk. He arrived at Portman Road with great expectations last summer after starring at Salford in League Two, but quickly lost his form and ultimately his place to nailed-on number one Christian Walton.
Hladky, who's under contract until 2024, only made 14 appearances for Town in the end last season, with his last match back on December 29 as the Blues beat Wycombe 1-0 in Kieran McKenna's first game in charge. Walton failed a pre-game Covid test and was unavailable to play.
The 31-year-old will surely want to play regularly, and has already been linked with a move to Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen.
Dons' boss Jim Goodwin, who managed Hladky at St Mirren, said: "I’ve got a lot of admiration for Vaclav, having worked with him at St Mirren.
“You talk about characters and strength of character, and Vaclav has certainly got that. He was a really good player with St Mirren."
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When striker Pigott arrived in Suffolk last summer, having just bagged 22 goals for a struggling AFC Wimbledon side, everyone thought he'd be the main man up top for Town.
But it didn't work out that way at all. Pigott quickly lost his starting spot to the red-hot Macauley Bonne, and was mostly used as a substitute for the rest of the campaign, by both Paul Cook and McKenna.
He ended the 2021/22 campaign having played 29 games - 14 of which were starts - and scoring just three goals. His last strike came all the way back on October 5, in a 2-0 EFL Trophy win over Gillingham.
Pigott, who's under contract until 2024, also had to overcome the loss of his father last season, a devastating blow in anyone's life.
But it's hard to argue that he ever really took his opportunities when they came, and one wonders if he truly fits the bill in terms of the sort of striker McKenna wants.
At 28-years-old and with a proven record of scoring in the third tier, you'd imagine there will be teams out there who would be interested - will Town look to cash in and move on?
The Simpson situation is all a bit of a mess. The young striker headed out on loan to Swindon in League Two and ripped it up, bagging 11 goals in 30 games as he impressed in his first taste of senior football.
But he was surprisingly recalled by the Blues in January, with the club looking to extend the 20-year-old's contract.
That never happened though, with club and player/agent not able to reach an agreement. Town boss McKenna then revealed in April that Simpson had asked to leave the Blues.
Town took their option to extend Simpson's stay in Suffolk by a year last week, but it still seems likely that he'll be moving on. League One rivals Peterborough are thought to be interested.
Speaking previously about Simpson’s contract situation, Town CEO Mark Ashton said: "It’s wrong of me to talk about any individual player’s contract, but one thing I can promise our supporter base is that I will fight tooth and nail for this football club.
“This football club will not in any shape or form be agent or representative led. That doesn’t work for me and it won’t work for this ownership group."
Last season was something of a disaster for livewire forward Dobra, who headed out on loan down the A12 to Town old boys' side Colchester United in League Two.
The idea was surely for him to go and shine in the fourth tier, but the 21-year-old only played 20 games, scoring twice, as the U's battled relegation. He didn't appear for the U's after January 4.
Dobra ended the season playing for Town's U23s, and looks to have lost ground in the battle for a spot in the Blues' squad.
He's heading into the final year of his contract - though Town do have an option for another 12 months - and would appear to be on the outside of McKenna's plans looking in.
Like Pigott, midfielder Harper was expected to be a key part of Town's side last season, having signed from West Brom for £500,000 in the summer.
But the arrival of Sam Morsy and some patchy displays saw him drop down the depth chart, with Paul Cook experimenting with bringing him off the bench as an attacking midfielder.
The 22-year-old played 15 games for the Blues - seven of which were starts - before he was sent out on loan to struggling Crewe in January.
He ended up playing 15 games for the Railwaymen too - 12 starts - but couldn't prevent them from finishing bottom of the table and being relegated to League Two.
Harper, who's under contract until 2024, has serious pedigree, and you'd expect that McKenna will be keen to work with him and improve his game this summer.
But, with Morsy and Lee Evans the likely starters in midfield, and others battling for back-up spots, will Harper end up being the odd man out?
Idris El Mizouni
It feels like El Mizouni has been around forever, nipping at the heels of Town's midfield starters without ever really making the breakthrough.
The 21-year-old, under contract until 2024, has already been out on loan three times - Cambridge United (twice) and Grimsby Town - and has had to battle back from knee ligament damage too.
He was at Town for the full 21/22 campaign, playing 12 games and scoring once, and figures to be part of the battle for midfield back-up spots behind Morsy and Evans this summer.
But, with the likes of Harper, Cameron Humphreys and potentially Tyreeq Bakinson - should Town decide to make his loan from Bristol City permanent - in that same mix, there could end up just being too much traffic in El Mizouni's way.
Ok, ok - this is very much worst case scenario here. Morsy is Town's captain and leader, potentially the best midfielder in the division, and will surely be a vital part of the Blues' expected promotion push next season.
But he's also likely to attract interest from Championship sides this summer, with former club Wigan Athletic already being linked.
Morsy's under contract until 2024, and Town wouldn't contemplate losing him for anything other than a small fortune.
So the only way Morsy departs is if he himself decides he wants to move on. He's 30-years-old, very much in his prime, and it could be that another year in League One won't appeal to a player of his ability and pedigree.
Hopefully not though - Town are building something at Portman Road, and all the signs so far are that Morsy is very much on board with the process and his key role within it.