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Ipswich Town transfer talk: A look at the defenders who could fit the bill this summer

PUBLISHED: 06:00 29 May 2019

Tommy Spurr and Deji Oshilaja are both available on free transfers this summer. Picture: PA

Tommy Spurr and Deji Oshilaja are both available on free transfers this summer. Picture: PA

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Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert will look to freshen up his relegated squad this summer. STUART WATSON kick-starts this regular feature by taking a look at a few defenders who could fit the bill.

Tommy Spurr is a free agent after being released by Preston. Photo: PATommy Spurr is a free agent after being released by Preston. Photo: PA

TOMMY SPURR

Free agent. Loads of Championship experience. Capable of playing left-back or centre-back. Played under Paul Lambert at Blackburn. The 31-year-old certainly ticks a lot of boxes.

Spurr may have racked up close to 300 appearances in the Championship for Sheffield Wednesday, Doncaster, Rovers and Preston, but showed he would be prepared to drop down a level when joining Fleetwood Town on a season-long loan last summer.

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Paul Downing (centre) celebrates League One promotion with Blackburn. Photo: PAPaul Downing (centre) celebrates League One promotion with Blackburn. Photo: PA

A hip injury, which required surgery in January, cut short his time with the Cod Army. Now he has to get his career back on track.

Wouldn't be expected to come in and start away. Could provide some decent competition for an inexperienced back line.

PAUL DOWNING

Chelsea teenager Dujon Sterling impressed in League One for Coventry City last season. Photo: PAChelsea teenager Dujon Sterling impressed in League One for Coventry City last season. Photo: PA

The 27-year-old right-back has plenty of third-tier experience and is now a free agent after being released by Blackburn.

Was a regular League One starter at Walsall and MK Dons, then helped Rovers claim automatic promotion back to the Championship in 2017/18.

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Spent the second half of last season on loan at Doncaster, helping them to a sixth-place finish in League One, and has said he is open of returning to the Keepmoat Stadium.

Tony Mowbray has hailed him as a 'model professional' who should join a 'really progressive' club.

DUJON STERLING

Teenage right-back is highly-rated by Chelsea. And, having seen how Trevoh Chalobah developed at Portman Road last season, the Premier League club would probably not be averse to sending another youngster to Portman Road.

Ipswich Town tried to sign Blackpool defender Curtis Tilt last summer. Photo: PAIpswich Town tried to sign Blackpool defender Curtis Tilt last summer. Photo: PA

Sterling, 19, spent last season at League One club Coventry. So impressive were his displays that he kept fans' favourite Jack Grimmer out of the side as Mark Robins' side finished eighth.

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Has been capped by England at various age groups alongside the likes of Blues youngster Andre Dozzell.

Lambert wants to limit the number of loans next season, but don't rule out one or two if he feels they can add some star quality.

Deji Oshilaja is out of contract at AFC Wimbledon. Photo: PADeji Oshilaja is out of contract at AFC Wimbledon. Photo: PA

Blues boss could well be looking for a starting right-back given the limited chances given to Josh Emmanuel in the second half of last season.

CURTIS TILT

Town spent much of last summer haggling with Blackpool for the left-footed centre-back but in the end a deal could not be struck.

The experienced Alex Baptiste has been released by QPR. Photo: PAThe experienced Alex Baptiste has been released by QPR. Photo: PA

The Tangerines wanted in excess of £1m for the former non-league man off the back of an impressive debut campaign at League One level.

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He was once again a regular starter for them in 2018/19, as Terry McPhillips' side finished 10th, and now enters the final year of his deal.

The 27-year-old was linked to Rangers back in January and looks to now be out of Town's reach.

Daniel Lafferty (right) has been let go by Sheffield United. Photo: PADaniel Lafferty (right) has been let go by Sheffield United. Photo: PA

DEJI OSHILAJA

After failing to land Tilt, former Blues boss Paul Hurst turned his attentions to AFC Wimbledon defender Oshilaja late in last summer's transfer window. Again, a deal - believed to be in the region of £750k - couldn't be struck.

The 26-year-old went on to captain the Dons as Wally Downes' men successfully avoided League One relegation. Now he's a free agent.

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Downes said: "Deji was in a difficult position with the offers that came in for him in the two transfer windows. I wish him well in the future."

Could have Championship interest. Lambert has to decide if he wants to add to a back line that currently has Luke Chambers, Toto Nsiala, Luke Woolfenden and Corrie Ndaba as options.

Luke Garbutt (left) in action for Oxford United. Photo: PALuke Garbutt (left) in action for Oxford United. Photo: PA

ALEX BAPTISTE

Versatile defender, 33, has played at every level from National League through to Premier League.

The former Mansfield, Blackpool, Bolton, Blackburn, Middlesbrough, Sheffield United and Preston man - who has more than 500 senior appearances under his belt - has just been released by QPR.

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Bristol City's Taylor Moore (left). Photo: PABristol City's Taylor Moore (left). Photo: PA

Spent the second half of last season on loan at Luton Town, but only made a couple of substitute appearances for the League One title winners.

Hatters boss Mick Harford said: "He's just a proper defender, a proper bloke. He'll add a little bit of calmness and experience in the dressing room."

DANIEL LAFFERTY

Brentford defender Josh Clarke. Photo: PABrentford defender Josh Clarke. Photo: PA

The 13-cap Northern Ireland international is a free agent after being released by Sheffield United.

A left-back who knows all about League One having played a key role in the Blades' third-tier promotion of 2016/17. He also spent the second half of last season on loan at Peterborough United.

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Speaking in April, as Posh pushed for a top-six spot, the former Burnley man said: "I'm not thinking too much about my own future. It's all about getting the club into the play-offs."

Unlikely he would sign for a club without assurances of a starting spot.

CALLUM ELDER

Australian left-back spent the second half of last season on loan at Town from Leicester.

Lewie Coyle (jumping) in action for Fleetwood Town. Photo: PALewie Coyle (jumping) in action for Fleetwood Town. Photo: PA

Only ended up making four starts and one sub appearance for the Blues, an injury and good form by Myles Kenlock keeping him out the side.

Was part of the Wigan side that won the League One title in 2017/18.

Now enters the final year of his Foxes contract and will be keen to play regularly.

Ethan Ebanks-Landell (right) celebrates for MK Dons. Photo: PAEthan Ebanks-Landell (right) celebrates for MK Dons. Photo: PA

LUKE GARBUTT

Once branded 'phenomenal' by Roberto Martinez, he signed a five-year deal at Everton in 2015 and was seen as the long-term successor to Leighton Baines.

The 26-year-old's stock has dropped since then though. Following Championship loans at Fulham and Wigan, he spent last season at Oxford United in League One and wasn't always a regular.

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Capable of playing left-back or left-wing, Lambert might view him as being a player that could be coached back on track. A loan with view to a permanent deal next summer, if successful, could work for all parties.

Would provide competition for Kenlock and be able to fill in on the wing if required.

TAYLOR MOORE

A player with an interesting back story. Born in East London, but raised in France the cultured defender - capable of playing right-back or centre-back - played a handful of games for Lens.

Made a £1.5m switch to Bristol City in 2016 and has loans at Bury, Cheltenham and Southend.

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Speaking about his future, the 22-year-old said: "It's in Bristol City's hands really but I want to be playing week-in, week-out to continue my development. Right now I'm not sure where my next chapter will be."

JOSH CLARKE

Quick, attack-minded right-back came through the Brentford academy and was a Championship regular for them in 2016/17 and 2017/18.

Spent the second half of last season on loan at Burton, an ankle injury restricting him to just six outings as Nigel Clough's men finished ninth in League One.

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The 24-year-old may come back into Bees boss Thomas Frank's plans now that Moses Odubajo has been released. Still has Henrik Dalsgaard ahead of him in the pecking order at Griffin Park though and could be set for one more loan spell.

LEWIE COYLE

Leeds right-back is the younger brother of boxer Tommy Coyle and professional golfer Joe Coyle.

Firmly behind Luke Ayling in the pecking order at Elland Road, he returned to League One side Fleetwood for a second loan spell last season and was named their Players' Player of the Year.

Joey Barton made full use of his versatility, deploying him at right-back, left-back, right-midfield and in a back three.

He now enters the final year of his deal. From Hull, he has spoken of being homesick, so a move to Suffolk may not appeal.

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ETHAN EBANKS-LANDELL

Lambert will have seen little of him when in charge of Wolves as the defender was already on loan at Sheffield United when he took charge in November.

Ebanks-Landell played a key role in the Blades winning the League One title that season. Further loan stints in the third-tier, at MK Dons and Rochdale, have followed.

The 26-year-old is now heading into the final year of his deal at Molineux.

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