Ipswich Town added four new faces in the January transfer window. Mark Heath takes a look at what boss Kieran McKenna has said about them, and what they've said about their moves.

Ipswich Star: Jeremy Sarmiento has already scored twiceJeremy Sarmiento has already scored twice (Image: Ross Halls)
Jeremy Sarmiento

Position: Winger

Signed: January 3

The exciting young Ecuadorian winger - known as Jugador to his pals - arrived early in the window on loan from Premier League Brighton, having spent the first half of the season at West Brom.

He's looked to be exactly what Town wanted thus far - fearless, skilful, creative and willing to run at his man every chance he gets.

He's already bagged two goals - the dramatic late leveller at Leicester City in the league, and then netted on his first start against Maidstone in the FA Cup last weekend. I can't remember what else happened in that match.

READ MORE: Football cages, World Cup ban and World Cup cameos - Sarmiento profile

McKenna said of him: "He's a really versatile attacker. He played wide on the right-hand side throughout his youth career at Benfica and at Brighton.

"He's played wide left for Ecuador and was mostly touchline wide left for West Brom. And he's played quite a bit as a No.10. Of course that versatility is a big asset for him and it's a big asset for us to utilise. 

"As a player, technically he's a really, really high level. He can manipulate the ball, has really good one-v-one skills, the ability to combine and beat opponents.

"That's something that we really wanted to add to the squad. You can maybe say that this time last year, with Kyle Edwards, we had some of those qualities in the squad and we don't have quite so much of that this year. So that was a goal in the summer to add those qualities. Jeremy certainly adds that."

Ipswich Star: Sarmiento has made a great first impressionSarmiento has made a great first impression (Image: Ross Halls)
Of his move Sarmiento, 21, said: "I’m very excited to be joining Ipswich at a time when they have been on a great run since winning promotion to the Championship.

"Ipswich were always there, after interest in the summer which didn’t quite work out, but I’m here now and I’m ready to do my best. 

"It’s happened quickly and smoothly and I’ve enjoyed my conversations with the manager, which made it clear this is where I should play, so I’m excited to try and show him what I can do and earn minutes in a team which plays a style I think will suit me. 

"I am a direct player and like to get the fans on their feet with a bit of flair, which is a big side to my game, and I can’t wait to get started."

Ipswich Star: Lewis Travis impressed on his debutLewis Travis impressed on his debut (Image: Ross Halls)

Lewis Travis

Position: Midfielder

Signed: January 5

Just two days after adding Sarmiento, the Blues made quite the statement by signing Blackburn Rovers' club captain Travis on loan for the rest of the season.

He'd fallen out of favour at Rovers, but his departure led to much gnashing of teeth among the Blackburn faithful.

The 26-year-old, who can also cover at full-back, went straight into the starting XI for the big clash against Sunderland - with skipper Sam Morsy suspended and Massimo Luongo injured - and looked superb in the 2-1 win.

He also started the 1-1 draw with Leicester, though he didn't have quite the same impact. Regardless, he looks to be a really astute bit of business, adding experience, bite and guile to Town's engine room.

After that impressive debut against Sunderland, McKenna enthused: "It was a big challenge for him to have a few days training and go straight into the team for a game like that - especially in the No.6 position, because so much of our play goes through there and the job description is really specific.

READ MORE: A 'warrior' who has come to play - Travis profile

"Normally Lewis would have been on the bench tonight and had a chance to integrate from there, but an injury (to Luongo) changed our plans.

"I thought he coped admirably, showing his physicality, his character and his bravery on and off the ball. Now he'll be stronger for the game."

Ipswich Star: Lewis Travis describes himself as 'aggressive'Lewis Travis describes himself as 'aggressive' (Image: ITFC)
Travis said of his move: "When I knew Ipswich were calling I jumped at the chance, given the league position and the unbelievable start to the season the team has had.

“To be a part of a team like this is something I’m very excited about and I’m looking forward to playing in front of the supporters. 

"I have had good, honest conversations with the manager and I think the style of play will suit me.

"I am aggressive both with and without the ball, which I think is what he liked, so it’s about me getting in there and impressing.”

Ipswich Star: Ali Al-Hamadi signed for Town on MondayAli Al-Hamadi signed for Town on Monday (Image: ITFC)
Ali Al-Hamadi

Position: Striker

Signed: January 29th

It was no secret that the Blues needed to sign strikers this window, and they got their first at the start of deadline week, adding the Iraqi international from AFC Wimbledon for north of £1m.

The 21-year-old, who has just been playing for his country at the Asian Cup, signed a four-and-a-half year deal.

He's already racked up 17 goals and seven assists for the Dons in all competitions this season, and McKenna is excited about his potential.

"Ali is a very exciting young striker who we feel has great attributes and a lot of room to continue to develop," he explained.

"He’s had a really good first 12 months of regular senior football and has had a significant impact at AFC Wimbledon.

"He fits our recruitment profile of being a young, hungry, athletic and technical player who we feel can have an impact in the squad straight away, but also has room to grow and develop for the future.” 

Ipswich Star: Al-Hamadi is one of the hottest properties in the EFLAl-Hamadi is one of the hottest properties in the EFL (Image: ITFC)
Al-Hamadi, who fled Iraq with his family to escape the war and grew up on a Toxteth housing estate, has no doubts he can make the step up from League Two to the Championship.

READ MORE: From Iraq to Toxteth to Town - Al-Hamadi profile

He told TownTV: "I set myself a target at the start of this season of 20 goals, so I’m quite close to that now.

“I love scoring goals, I’m hungry to score goals.

"I understand that it’s a step up now in the Championship and I’m going to have to get better and get sharper and overall better as a player to be able to keep that going.

"But I’m confident in myself and my ability, and I’m sure I’ll keep that form going, hopefully until the end of the season.”

He added: "Whenever I watch Ipswich it’s just high intensity, hungry off the ball and obviously attractive football on the ball.

“It’s just high intensity, high energy – that’s what you associate now when you think of Ipswich.

“I think that fits my character quite well. I’m quick, I’m powerful and I like to get people off their seats, so I’d say I’m quite a good fit for what’s going on at Ipswich now.

“When I think of Ipswich I just think of really high energy, high pressing on the ball, really good on the ball and exciting attacking football, which is what any young footballer wants to be involved in.”

Ipswich Star: Kieffer Moore signed on deadline dayKieffer Moore signed on deadline day (Image: MATCHDAY IMAGES/ITFC)
Kieffer Moore

Position: Striker

Signed: February 1

We had to wait the entire window, but Town got their man on deadline day, adding the experienced international striker on loan from Bournemouth.

Moore, 31, has blossomed as a player since his underwhelming spell at the Blues back in 2017.

The 6ft 5ins Welsh international scored 43 goals at Championship level for Barnsley, Wigan, Cardiff and Bournemouth before netting four times in the Premier League last season.

He'll be expected to lead the line as the Blues bid to secure a second-straight promotion with 18 games left this season.

READ MORE: A point to prove - Moore profile 

McKenna said: "We are delighted to have signed a striker with strong Championship pedigree, as well as experience in the Premier League and at international level.

"Kieffer will bring some very important technical and physical attributes to the squad. We feel his professionalism and mentality will be an addition to the culture we already have within the group."

Ipswich Star: Kieffer Moore is an experienced international strikerKieffer Moore is an experienced international striker (Image: PA)
Moore told TownTV: “It’s been a long time coming. Obviously I remember my first time here, so to come back now, I’m delighted.

“Looking around, from what I’ve seen, there’s been a bit of change. I can’t wait to get going."

He continued: "I want to do well, I want to score goals, I want to be a part of something and secure that lucrative promotion.

“In your career, you always need to aspire to do great stuff. To get Ipswich Town back in the Premier League, that’d be amazing.”