Seven Premier League free agents that could interest Ipswich Town
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Premier League clubs revealed who they have released last week. Chris Brammer looks at some of the well-known and lesser heralded figures that could interest the Blues, as they look to strengthen.
George Boyd (Burnley)
Came close to signing for Ipswich in 2011 when Paul Jewell was manager, but Town failed to complete the deal. They did bring in the winger’s Peterborough team-mate, Paul Taylor, to the club in the same transfer window though.
Aston Villa and Derby have been linked for the industrious former Burnley man, who is comfortable on the ball and good from set-pieces.
At 31 though, does he really fit into owner Marcus Evans’ five-point plan – the Town chief keen to build the future of the club around young talent.
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Michael Kightly (Burnley)
Another 31-year-old, the winger was close to signing for Ipswich in last summer’s transfer window, but a deal could not be agreed, and the former Wolves man ended up signing for Burton Albion.
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Was given his big break in the Football League by Mick McCarthy, who signed Kightly from Grays Athletic in 2006 to great effect, the Basildon-born man going on to help Wolves reach the Premier League.
Scored four goals in 12 games at Burton stayed up against the odds last season and would be a low-risk move should McCarthy only be working with a modest transfer kitty.
Joe Ledley (Crystal Palace)
Hard-working left-midfielder (30) went viral on the Internet last summer for his victory jigs after Wales’ victories at the Euros.
Ledley played a big part in Chris Coleman’s side’s success, playing all six games in his country’s march to the semi-finals, but played just 18 times in the Premier League for Crystal Palace last season.
Known for his defensive attributes as well as his offensive ability, Ledley would tick a lot of boxes for McCarthy but is likely to have no shortage of takers, especially from the higher end of the Championship, and is likely to command a big salary.
Ledley recently stated that he would be open to a move to the Championship.
Conor McAleny (Everton)
Once regarded as a hot prospect at Everton, the 24-year-old has just been released at Goodison Park and is looking to establish himself elsewhere.
Scored 10 goals in 14 starts for League One Oxford United last season and the U’s have offered McAleny a contract.
However, the academy product has interest from Championship clubs and Oxford boss Michael Appleton said recently: “I suppose he’s got to make a decision whether he earns more money and finds himself a possible Championship club at the risk of maybe not playing every week, or being one of the more important players in a League One side where he gets the opportunity to hopefully further his career anyway.”
Alex Bruce (Hull City)
Defender who needs no introduction to Town fans, having spent almost four years at Ipswich between 2006 and 2010.
Famously discovered his release from Hull on Twitter this summer, the 32-year-old is an experienced Championship campaigner and can play at right-back or centre-half.
Town manager Mick McCarthy could possibly be in for another centre-back, following the departure of Christophe Berra, but there are more pressing areas of concern in the team, so bringing in a Premier League defender, albeit one that spent time on-loan at Wigan last season, will not be top of the manager’s list.
Victor Anichebe (Sunderland)
A casualty of Sunderland’s dismal relegation from the top-flight, the Nigerian-born striker is the sort of bustling frontman that fits the Daryl Murphy mould.
The 29-year-old, pictured left, has been around for an awfully long time, but it’s fair to say he never really had a consistent run of games with the Black Cats or West Brom and Everton before them.
Will be keen to resurrect his career but may feel he still has something to offer a Premier League club.
Zachary Elbouzedi (West Brom)
Big things were expected of the Republic of Ireland youth player, but the teenager has now been allowed to seek pastures new.
A key player in Ireland’s under-19 campaign last season, Elbouzedi fits the bill in one aspect of Marcus Evans’ five-point plan – to make annual investment funds available to purchase players in the early stages of their career and to assist in their development – and McCarthy has taken a punt on Premier League rookies before.