Relegated five could make a difference at Portman Road
- Credit: PA
Ipswich are keen on Tom Adeyemi, a star man at Rotherham this season. Whilst technically a Cardiff man, the Blues’ interest suggests they could target the bottom three’s best players. CHRIS BRAMMER knows who he would look at.
TOM ADEYEMI (Rotherham)
Box-to-box midfielder, Adeyemi has flourished at Rotherham this season, and has often been the star man in a generally woeful Millers outfit.
The 25-year-old only scored six goals, but given they came in a team that netted just 29 in the Championship all season, that’s not a bad return. He also provided two assists.
Athletic and rangy, Adeyemi is good in the air and known as a ball winner.
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Having started his career at Norwich City, Adeyemi enjoyed loan spells at Bradford, Oldham and Birmingham, before joining Birmingham City on a two-year deal in the summer of 2013.
Three goals in 40 appearances for the Blues alerted Championship rivals Cardiff, but soon after being signed, manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer left the club and his career with the Bluebirds never really took off.
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Spent a season on-loan with Leeds in 2015-16, before returning to Cardiff last summer.
On leaving Birmingham, former manager Lee Clark said: “I’m gutted that we’ve lost one of the most powerful, talented midfielders in this league. We tried everything to keep him within our means,” said Clark.
DANNY WARD (Rotherham)
Ward was the Millers’ stand-out man this season and scored both goals as the South Yorkshire side picked up one of their two away points, in the 2-2 draw at Portman Road.
Still only 25, the 6ft frontman was named by Leeds defender Kyle Bartley as his toughest opponent this season and would surely have scored more goals in a better outfit.
However, the Blues were not exactly prolific in ther final third last season, relying heavily on the individual brilliance of Tom Lawrence.
Ward is a different proposition to Lawrence, and would more likely go some way to filling the sizeable gap left by Daryl Murphy.
He would require ammunition to get the best out of him, although he can be deployed as an attacking midfielder.
Rotherham manager Paul Warne said of the striker in January: “I said to his face: ‘If you can leave my office and come back with anyone under £5m who you think is better than you, please do and I’ll sell you for the same figure.’
“As of yet, he hasn’t been back to me.”
SAM GALLAGHER (Blackburn)
Another player to have scored goals in a relegated side, Gallagher netted 12 times in 47 games as the Ewood Park side dropped into League One.
Gallagher, on-loan from Southampton, is only 21, and certainly fits the Daryl Murphy mould, standing at 6ft 4ins.
Already linked with a £3m summer move to Cardiff City, Gallagher is out-of-contract with the Saints next summer, but would command a fee, given his age.
Scored nine Championship goals by December 13 for Rovers, the Scottish striker scored just two more after that as Rovers lost their second-tier status.
DANNY GRAHAM (Blackburn)
Experienced striker and has scored goals in the past at Championship level for a number of clubs.
Netted 12 times in 28 appearances for Rovers this season, having signed for the club in the summer, following a haul of seven goals in 18 loan appearances in the second half of last season.
Standing at 6ft 1ins, Graham is another player similar in stature to the much-missed Murphy, and scored 15 goals in 42 Premier League games for Swansea between June 2011 and January 2013.
A £5m move to Sunderland never really worked out though and Graham has been attempting to recapture his best form since his time in Wales.
NICK POWELL (Wigan)
Highly-thought of at Crewe, Powell made the headlines when he was snapped up by Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United in a deal reported to be worth around £6m.
Powell struggled to establish himself at Old Trafford though and spent time on loan at Wigan and Hull in the Championship and Leicester, in the Premier League.
Signed for Wigan permanently in the summer and scored an 11 minute hat-trick in Wigan’s 3-2 comeback win at home to Barnsley, last month.
Would not be short of takers if made available and would probably command a seven-figure fee, but would be a great asset if kept fit.