Jordan Spence signs two-year deal – here’s what Ipswich Town’s 20-man squad looks like

Jordan Spence was one of several players who went into last season without a club. He joined Ipswich

Jordan Spence was one of several players who went into last season without a club. He joined Ipswich in January. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Jordan Spence has signed a two-year deal with Ipswich Town.

The 26-year-old – who can play right-back, right wing-back or centre-back – joined the Blues as a free agent midway through last season and made 15 starts and two substitute appearances in the Championship.

• Spence: I’ve enjoyed playing for Ipswich

A graduate of the West Ham youth system, Spence had several loans spells away from the Hammers before signing for MK Dons in 2014. He was a regular as the Buckinghamshire side were promoted from League One, then immediately relegated back.

“I was told there was interest from other clubs but I never spoke to anyone else. It was an easy decision to make, to come here once the manager said he wanted me,” Spence told the club website.

“Obviously last season didn’t go as well as everyone would have hoped for here but I never thought we were in a relegation fight. We were always five or six points clear.

“The game at home against Newcastle showed what we are capable of. We coupled the work-rate and the tactical nous with the quality we have and it all came together.

“The place was rocking that day and we have to look to do that more often next season and compete at the top end of the Championship. It won’t be easy because it’s a tough league but we will be ready for the challenge.”

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Spence is Town’s first summer signing following the recent disappointing 16th place Championship finish and takes the number of senior players contracted up to 20.

Jonathan Douglas, Giles Coke, Paul Digby and Leon Best have all been released, Christophe Berra has joined Hearts, while Tom Lawrence, Emyr Huws, Toumani Diagouraga, Dominic Samuel and Jonny Williams have all seen their loan deals expire.

Defender Steve Taylor is out of contract and been invited to prove his fitness in pre-season following hamstring problems, while Brett Pitman and Kevin Bru have reportedly been told they can find new clubs as Mick McCarthy looks to freshen up his squad.

Rivals Norwich City have beaten the Blues to the signing of forward Marley Watkins from Barnsley, while Cardiff are reportedly favourites to land Town target Danny Ward from Rotherham.

TOWN SQUAD: Bialkowski, Gerken; Emmanuel, Spence, Chambers, Smith, Webster, Knudsen, Kenlock; Skuse, Ward, Bishop, Dozzell, Hyam, Bru, Rowe; McGoldrick, Pitman, Sears, Moore.

Stuart says

Jordan Spence’s addition may not set the pulses racing among disillusioned fans, but it’s a sensible signing. The 26-year-old clearly is hungry to get his career going again, never let the team down when called upon during a testing spell and won’t have blown the wage budget.

He’ll provide good competition for the raw Josh Emmanuel at either right-back or right wing-back and is a back-up option at centre-back behind Luke Chambers, Tommy Smith and Adam Webster.

Do the Blues need to sign any more defenders this summer? I’m not convinced. A strong striker and dynamic midfielder must command the bulk of limited resources.

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