Town target is lightning... like Lennon
REPORTED Ipswich Town target Andros Townsend is more than ready to step up to the Championship.
Those are the thoughts of the journalists who have witnessed the lightening quick Tottenham trainee set alight the third tier of English football over the last season and a half.
Earlier this week the 18-year-old winger was linked with a loan move to Portman Road ahead of next season, leading many underwhelmed Town fans to ask ‘Andros who?’
However, Townsend has been the subject of much talk in League One circles this season following scintillating loan spells at Yeovil, Leyton Orient and MK Dons respectively.
And the overwhelming majority of those that have seen him play – including myself as this paper’s Colchester United reporter – will tell you he is far too good for that level.
Fast, skilful and comfortable with both feet, Townsend is able to play on both wings or behind the strikers. His direct style has seen him draw favourable comparisons with Spurs team mate Aaron Lennon, while he has already been capped by England at Under-16 and U19 level.
“He’s such an exciting player to watch,” said Trevor Davies, who reports on the O’s for the Ilford Recorder. “He’s the sort of winger that will beat three players and still try to go past a fourth. Sometimes his decision making let him down slightly, but there’s no doubt he will mature and play at a higher level. We certainly missed him when he left.”
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Townsend got his first taste of senior football at the back end of the 2008/9 season when he joined struggling Yeovil for their final 10 matches. The raw youngster was thrown straight into the first team by the desperate Glovers but, rather than be phased, he rose to the occasion by helping the Somerset side claim 13 points and avoid relegation.
The speedy winger was then loaned out to Leyton Orient at the start of the season just gone where he soon scored a wonder goal against former side Yeovil; running 70 yards past three defenders, side-stepping another before blasting home.
It persuaded the Essex side to extend the one-month switch to the end of the year, with Townsend impressing over 26 appearances.
Following his spell at Brisbane Road, Townsend joined the MK Dons in a deal which was meant to keep him there until the end of the season. Two goals in a superb nine-game stint followed as the Buckinghamshire side got themselves in firmly in the play-off hunt, before injury-hit Tottenham recalled their loanee for cover at the end of February.
“It’s no coincidence that we slipped away from the top six when Andros left,” admitted Simon Downes, the MK Dons reporter for the Milton Keynes Citizen. “He was so highly thought of around here and looked very much like a player that would go onto bigger things.”
Indeed, if Tottenham hadn’t enjoyed such a successful season in the Premier League then manager Harry Redknapp may well have been looking at gradually bringing Townsend into their own first team fold next season.
Instead, it looks as though the Champions League qualifiers will loan out their rising star to a Championship club. And if it’s natural width, creativity and pace on a budget that Town are after, then they should look no further.