Dean back but for how long?

DEAN Bowditch is back at Portman Road - but his Ipswich future remains in doubt.The 20-year-old striker is nursing a groin injury suffered during a one-month loan spell with League One club Brighton, who are understood to be keen to sign him on a permanent basis.

By Mel Henderson

DEAN Bowditch is back at Portman Road - but his Ipswich future remains in doubt.

The 20-year-old striker is nursing a groin injury suffered during a one-month loan spell with League One club Brighton, who are understood to be keen to sign him on a permanent basis.

Town boss Jim Magilton said today: “Dean is injured and will be here until we get him fit again. Beyond that we will have to wait and see.”

Bowditch headed for the south coast at the end of October and made three substitute appearances, scoring once, for the Seagulls during November.

He was on loan at Burnley and Wycombe Wanderers during Joe Royle's time as manager and had faded from new boss Jim Magilton's squad prior to moving to the Withdean Stadium.

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Meanwhile, Town are to allow teenage striker Darryl Knights to join Scottish Premier League side Falkirk on a month's loan, starting in January.

But midfielder Sammy Moore, also a loan target for the ambitious Bairns who defeated Rangers at the weekend, will not be accompanying him north of the border.

Knights, 19, has not had a further taste of senior action since making his first team debut just over two years ago as a late substitute in a 2-0 defeat at Sunderland.

The former Chantry High School pupil has scored regularly for the reserves this season and Falkirk boss John Hughes has finally secured a loan deal weeks after first declaring his interest in the player.

Magilton said: “There are just a few fine details to be ironed out. Falkirk were keen to take both Darryl and Sammy on loan but Sammy isn't keen on the move.

“I don't particularly want him to go. He's an infectious character and it is good to have him about the place. As a player he has improved immensely and matured.

“The move to Falkirk will be good for Darryl because it will hopefully give him a chance to play regularly. That isn't possible here because of the new reserve league set-up, which is why so many of our young players are out on loan at the moment.”

Knights will be reunited with former team-mate Liam Craig, who captained Ipswich to FA Youth Cup glory last year before joining Falkirk.

Falkirk see Knights as the ideal replacement for Arsenal youngster Anthony Stokes, who has netted 13 times in as many games since joining them on loan.

Dublin-born Stokes, 18, has caught the eye of several clubs as a result of his scoring exploits, which included hat-tricks in successive games, and Sunderland boss Roy Keane has spied on him several times.

Magilton added: “We have seen young Stokes and like him ourselves - but in my opinion Billy Clarke is a better player.

“But there are a number of clubs out there who have been watching Stokes and if Arsenal don't recall him in January they may allow him to move elsewhere.”

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