The Duke fits Jewell’s profile
ON the face of it, the signing of free agent Nathan Ellington might not set pulses racing in the way Michael Chopra’s arrival was heralded in Suffolk.
A career-best of one goal every three-and-a-bit games is not the mouthwatering statistic that is going to have Ipswich Town fans dreaming of ‘the Duke’ firing the Blues into the Premier League.
But that could be doing the striker a disservice. He actually averaged one goal in two games for Wigan Athletic, under a certain Paul Jewell, and has been involved in transfers worth more than �7.5 million.
He is also just 29-years-old and is a free transfer. Surely a chance worth taking, especially by a manager who knows what he is getting having also managed Ellington at Derby County.
And he also fits Jewell’s new player-profile perfectly. Ellington has Championship experience and lest we forget, he is a winner just like fellow free transfer Ivar Ingimarsson.
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As with the big defender, Ellington has gained promotion from the second tier – top scoring as Wigan went to the Premier League in 2004/05 – even if he then failed to impress after subsequent big-money moves to West Brom and Watford.
While at the Hornets, he moved to Derby on loan but fell out of favour when Jewell resigned and was replaced by Nigel Clough.
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After a successful year-long loan spell at Greek side Skoda Xanthi, where he scored seven times in 16 games, he signed for Preston in January, again on loan, but was unable to prevent the Lilywhites from suffering relegation to League One.
Like most 29-year-old footballers, he has had good moments and bad moments. But one hopes his travails at Watford, Derby and Preston means Town are getting a player hungry to prove himself again in the Championship.
The capture of Ellington might not necessarily prompt the departure of Connor Wickham – with Jewell continuing to insist he is under no pressure to sell his most prized asset.
But signing two new frontmen in just 11 days could bring an end to any pursuit of the likes of Billy Sharp and David Nugent.
And it remains to be seen whether Ellington will be reunited with his former Preston team mates, centre back Sean St Ledger and winger Keith Treacy, as Jewell’s wheeling and dealing continues throughout the summer.
n Is Ellington the man to fire the Blues’ Premier League ambitions? Tell us your views at firstname.lastname@example.org