Town chasing “The Duke”, plus Marney and Koumas are possible targets
PAUL Jewell’s nose for a bargain could see him recruit one of his former players, Nathan Ellington, on a free transfer.
And Ipswich Town’s boss will also have his sights set on a few of the players recently released by Premier League clubs, which numbers a staggering 123.
Front runner Ellington has lost his way in recent seasons, after smashing Watford’s transfer record with a �3.25m move from West Brom four years ago.
The 29-year-old scored just two goals last term, while on loan at strugglers Preston, and bagged just one goal in a truncated 2009-10 campaign for the Hornets.
However, “The Duke” Ellington has built up a reputation for clambering off the bench to score goals – both his strikes for Preston, in home wins over Coventry and Sheffield United, came after he had been introduced as a late substitute, and Town fans need no reminding of what was his last goal for Watford.
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Ellington broke Town hearts, in a game that Roy Keane’s men completely dominated, by coming on as a late substitute to steal the unlikeliest of injury-time equalisers in a terribly one-sided 1-1 draw at Portman Road in October, 2009.
Despite Ellington’s recent lean spell, Jewell might be persuaded to sign him up and so resurrect a working relationship that resulted in Wigan’s promotion to the Premier League in 2005.
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Town lacked strength in depth in the squad last season, particularly in terms of experienced players on the bench, so free agent Ellington could prove a shrewd acquisition.
And that will especially be the case if Jason Scotland moves on. The Trinidad & Tobago international was linked with a switch to Sheffield Wednesday earlier in the week, although money might be a stumbling block in any potential switch to League One.
Scotland netted 10 goals last season, disappointing by his high standards, and Jewell might want to offload the 32-year-old to avoid a repeat of what happened to Gareth McAuley and David Norris, who were able to leave on free transfers after their current deals expired. Scotland has one year left on a two-year package.
Meanwhile, Jewell remains in the market for an attacking midfielder to replace the departed David Norris (signed for Portsmouth) and Jimmy Bullard (too expensive to recruit for another season on loan from Hull).
Burnley’s Dean Marney has emerged as a possible contender, while Jason Koumas, also an attacking midfielder, is one of the stand-out names from the list of Premier League rejects after his Wigan contract expired.
Ex-Tottenham 27-year-old Marney, whom former Colchester United boss Phil Parkinson signed for Hull City from White Hart Lane in 2006, moved to the Clarets a year ago and was a regular in their midfield last term.