Mick McCarthy more than happy with attacking options

Leon Best will wear the number nine shirt for Ipswich Town

Leon Best will wear the number nine shirt for Ipswich Town - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says he is delighted to have added to the attacking quality in his ranks with the late transfer window signings of Leon Best, Jonny Williams and Tom Lawrence.

Free agent striker Best, who was released by Rotherham in the summer, signed a one-year deal with an option for a further season having impressed on trial. He has been handed the number nine shirt vacated by Daryl Murphy following his £3m move to Newcastle.

Attacking midfield duo Williams and Lawrence are both on season-long loan deals from Crystal Palace and Leicester City.

“I’m delighted with the players we have brought in,” McCarthy told the club site. “There is real attacking quality there. Leon has played in the Premier League (with Newcastle) and has been a top striker throughout his career.

“It seems that he has been around for ages but he is still only 29. He knows this league (having made more than 200 second-tier appearances for Southampton, QPR, Sheffield Wednesday, Coventry, Newcastle, Blackburn, Derby, Brighton and Rotherham).

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“He scored against us for Rotherham last season and caused us problems and he gives us a physical presence up front.”

Regarding Williams, who will wear the number 21 shirt during his fourth loan spell at Portman Road, McCarthy said: “I don’t need to say too much about Jonny, do I! We all know his qualities and what a top player he is. We saw that again in the summer on the world stage with his performances for Wales in the Euros.

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“He is getting over his injury and we are looking at the first week or two in October for him to be playing games hopefully, and I know he can’t wait to get going.”

Lawrence, 22, came through the Old Trafford youth system before making a £1m move to Leicester City in 2014. The Welsh international, who is in Chris Coleman’s squad for a World Cup qualifier against Moldova on Monday, has had previous loan spells at Carlisle, Yeovil, Rotherham, Cardiff and Blackburn.

“Tom is an ex-Man United kid who played against us when he was on loan at Yeovil,” said McCarthy. “He was playing on the left and cutting in and we’ve kept an eye on him from there.

“He’s technically a very good player, good on the ball, good delivery and he can play in a number of positions, including up front.

“He and Jordan Rhodes tore us apart for Blackburn last season and I have been trying to get him in for a while.”

Having failed with several bids for strikers on deadline day, including Marley Watkins (Barnsley) and Conor Washington (QPR), McCarthy added: “We had bids in for strikers but for one reason or another they didn’t come off. That happens.

“I’m cool with what we have. We’ve got good players here. Pits (Brett Pitman), Freddie (Sears), Leon Best and Varns (Luke Varney).

“We’ve got Didz (David McGoldrick) to come back. Tom Lawrence can play up front, Wardy (Grant Ward).

“We have reinvested the money we got for Murph with the players we have brought in and we will look to add to the squad again in January.”

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