Pair of Cherries could prove to be sweet signings for Ipswich Town
- Credit: PA
The additions of Ryan Fraser and Brett Pitman could prove to be yet another Mick McCarthy masterstroke.
The duo arrive from newly-promoted AFC Bournemouth – worthy Championship title-winners last season – as left-back Tyrone Mings heads in the opposite direction today.
It’s understood that the total package – including the players that are arriving at Portman Road – is worth £8-10m to the Blues.
Just like with Aaron Cresswell’s £3.75m switch to West Ham last summer, that cash won’t arrive in a lump sum but will instead filter through in a series of down payments and appearance clauses.
The first question on supporters’ lips is how the money will be reinvested. For the reasons above, don’t expect the Blues to go out and start splashing the cash lavishly. That’s not the Marcus Evans or Mick McCarthy way.
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There is still work to be done in the transfer market, of course, but right now the management team will be feeling pretty pleased with themselves at the Cherries they have picked.
In the same way that some fans were initially underwhelmed by the additions of Christophe Berra, Cole Skuse, Richard Chaplow and Luke Varney, the duo of Fraser and Pitman could also quickly win over any doubters; if indeed there are any.
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Fraser – on a season-long loan – may well be the pacey, attack-minded right-winger that the club has long been crying out for. The former Aberdeen youngster and Scotland Under-21 international cost Bournemouth £400k in 2013 and has two impressive Championship campaigns under his belt. He may have made more sub appearances than starts during Eddie Howe’s title-winning season, but don’t underestimate the role he played against tiring defences.
And then there’s Pitman who, despite having seemingly been around forever, is still only aged 27.
A real all-rounder up top, he has scored more than 100 goals for Bournemouth during a decade-long association with the south coast outfit.
He’s scored regularly at League Two, League One and Championship level throughout his career. Last season, despite only making 18 league starts, he still managed to find the net 13 times.
A second-tier strike force consisting of Daryl Murphy, David McGoldrick, Freddie Sears and Pitman is not to be sniffed at.
With exciting teenage Arsenal winger Ainsley Maitland-Niles close to joining on a season-long loan, the Blues will hopefully finally have some pace and flair in the wide areas.
An attack-minded right-back – leaving Luke Chambers, Berra and Tommy Smith to battle it out for the two centre-back berths – would provide better depth and balance at the back.
Push the boat out for a 10-15 goals-a-season central midfielder and Town could be in business.