The six Ipswich Town players who could be set to join El Mizouni in making a loan exit
- Credit: Richard Blaxall
Idris El MIzouni has rejoined League Two side Cambridge United on loan. STUART WATSON looks at other Ipswich Town players set for similar moves.
Versatile 20-year-old is closing in on a return to action from the nasty ankle injury which sidelined him for the entirety of last season.
There is too much traffic ahead of him in his preferred central midfield role, while Myles Kenlock is backing up Stephen Ward for the left-back slot he is also capable of occupying.
In all likelihood, the former England U19 international, who has featured 21 times for Town and is now in the final year of his contract, will ease his way back into action for the U23s before any temporary move away in the second half of the campaign.
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He’ll need to pick his next loan move wisely given how little game time he got during a spell at Scottish side St Johnstone in 2018.
Speaking last month, he said: “It’s been a tough time but I’ve tried to stay positive. I think lockdown was actually a blessing in disguise as I haven’t missed out on any football and it has given me an extra three or four months to get my ankle right.
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“I’ll be hoping to play some sort of games, whether that is 23s or first-team by October-November time.”
Livewire Albaian youth international started four cup games and made three substitute appearances in the league last season.~ His energy and ability to run direct raised a strong argument that he should be kept on to compete with the likes of Freddie Sears, Gwion Edwards and Jack Lankester for one of those wide forward roles in a 4-3-3.
The equally strong counter-argument is that regular senior football elsewhere, rather than a handful of games here and there for Town, will be better for his long-term development. The rapid progress made by Luke Woolfenden and Flynn Downes after spells away at Swindon and Luton respectively act as supporting evidence for the latter theory.
Dobra, 19, does have a hot head, as red cards for the first team and U23s have shown, and it may be that he needs to work on honing that, as well as his decision making in the final third, away from the Portman Road spotlight. And there’s every chance Town will recruit a winger before the window shuts too.
Speaking about Dobra back in March, Lambert said: “He’s a low centre of gravity guy, he’s tenacious and he doesn’t have any respect for any big individual which is great. He plays the game with great freedom.
“His time will come and it’ll be soon. It’s unfair to just throw him into the lion’s den when this scenario happens (Town’s form having dipped), but he’s doing really, really well.”
Speaking earlier this month, Lambert said: “Dobra’s another kid that needs constant first team football and in an environment where he can get away from Under-23s football where there’s no real pressure on you. Ideally I would like him to go to League Two.”
A tall, left-footed, calm in possession centre-back – it looked like Town could really do with one of those as Lambert set about reimposing play out from the back principles. With the door ajar, Ndaba – a player whose potential Lambert immediately identified when taking charge – then really played his way into the first team picture with an impressive pre-season campaign.
The 20-year-old made his senior debut as a late substitute in the EFL Cup win against Bristol Rovers, then started the EFL Trophy match against Arsenal. Unfortunately, he was forced off with a bad dead leg following a heavy collision with the Gunners keeper. Since then, Town have gone out and signed Arsenal’s man-of-the-match from that night, 19-year-old Mark McGuinness, on loan.
Even with Luke Chambers playing at right-back, that appears to have put Ndaba back down to fifth-choice centre-back behind Luke Woolfenden, Toto Nsiala, James Wilson and McGuinness.
A loan spell which is a step up from his brief non-league stints with Hemel Hempstead and Chelmsford in the first half of last season looks a definite possibility.
Speaking after this summer’s friendly game against West Ham, Lambert said: “He’s done great Corrie, he really has. He’s got to keep that going. It’s alright doing it in friendly games when there’s no crowd, he’s got to be brave enough to play like that when the crowds come back. But he’s performed really, really well.”
Speaking after the Trophy game against Arsenal, Blues assistant boss Stuart Taylor said of Ndaba: “He’s come back this pre-season with a real maturity about him and a lot of purpose about his play and about his work. Now he’s had a taste of senior football I’m quite sure he’ll want a lot more of that.”
Australian forward, 21, made four Championship appearances for Town at the back end of the 2017/2018 campaign but then spent a big chunk of the following season sidelined with a torn Achilles.
He started an EFL Trophy game at Colchester last November then joined League Two side Stevenage on loan at the start of 2020, only making two substitute outings before Covid-19 brought a premature end to the campaign.
The well-rounded front man, who can drop deep to link play or run in behind, was restricted to 15 minutes of pre-season action at Colchester and didn’t make the squad for the EFL Trophy match against Arsenal Under-21s.
Speaking after his return from injury last year, Folami said: “I have to come back in and prove myself. I did that before with Mick McCarthy and that took a lot of convincing and I’ve still got a long way to go to convince Paul Lambert. If I work and train hard and give myself the opportunity I think I can make a difference in the first team.”
Irish right-back looks certain to depart – be it on loan or permanently.
Kane Vincent-Young, Luke Chambers, Janoi Donacien and Gwion Edwards have all been ahead of him in the right-back pecking order. And, having turned 21 before the start of this year, he would be taking up a valuable slot in the 22-man salary cap squad limit.
Cotter’s two league displays for the Blues were back at the end of the 2017/18 campaign. He had a loan spell at non-league club Chelsmford towards the start of last season, scored the winning penalty for Town at Peterborough in an EFL Trophy match last November, then in February underwent surgery on a ruptured adductor he sustained in U23 action.
The former Limerick man recently spent a week training at League Two club Leyton Orient.
Speaking back in March 2019, Lambert said: “Barry’s doing alright. But to get in the side you have to get motoring and be really on the button. Is he behind (James) Bree? Yes. Is he behind (Josh) Emmanuel? Yes, absolutely. Behind (Jordan) Spence? Yeah. You have to earn the right to get a game.”
The 20-year-old midfielder looks a potential heir to Cole Skuse at Portman Road. He sits deep, reads danger and has an impressive range of passing.
McGavin enjoyed an impressive senior debut in the EFL Trophy against Colchester last November, with assistant boss Stuart Taylor saying afterwards ‘he probably opened our eyes to the possibilities with how well he actually did’.
Further outings came against Lincoln (FA Cup) and Peterborough (EFL Trophy) before he was handed his league debut against Fleetwood in March. The youngster can count himself harshly done by to be given the hook at half-time on what was a tough evening for the team.
He’s previously had loan spells at Bury Town and Concord Rangers. It seems sensible for him to gain some more senior experience away given the amount of central midfield competition at the club.
When McGavin and Aaron Drinan went on trial to Ayr United back in January, Lambert said: “They need men’s football. Under-23s football isn’t teaching them anything. It’s not teaching them the right ways of football, it’s not teaching them physicality, it’s not teaching them streetwise football, it’s not teaching them the real game.”
Speaking earlier this month, Lambert said: “I think he (McGavin) needs first-team football to keep progressing the way he’s going. He’s trained with us for most of pre-season, he’s played some games, a great experience for him at Tottenham as well. But I think now we maybe look at him going out on loan.”