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What Town need, what Lambert’s said and what could still happen before the transfer window closes

PUBLISHED: 17:00 15 October 2020 | UPDATED: 17:28 15 October 2020

It's likely to be a quiet transfer deadline day for Marcus Evans and Paul Lambert at Ipswich Town. Picture: PAGEPIX

It's likely to be a quiet transfer deadline day for Marcus Evans and Paul Lambert at Ipswich Town. Picture: PAGEPIX

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The transfer window closes at 5pm tomorrow. ANDY WARREN looks at Ipswich Town’s business so far and what could still come for Paul Lambert’s men.

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans (centre), manager Paul Lambert (left) and general manager of football operations Lee O'Neill pictured ahead of last weekend's Carabao Cup game against Bristol Rovers. Photo: Steve WallerIpswich Town owner Marcus Evans (centre), manager Paul Lambert (left) and general manager of football operations Lee O'Neill pictured ahead of last weekend's Carabao Cup game against Bristol Rovers. Photo: Steve Waller

What’s happened

There’s every chance all of Ipswich Town’s permanent incoming transfer business will have been conducted on August 17.

Before we get to the new signings, the exits following last season saw Will Keane, Jordan Roberts and Danny Rowe leave at the end of their contracts during the summer, while loanees Will Norris and Luke Garbutt returned to their clubs before both moving on again.

In have come David Cornell, Oli Hawkins and Stephen Ward and, on limited showings so far, all three look to be good acquisitions.

Ipswich Town signed Stephen Ward, David Cornell and Oli Hawkins on the same day. Picture: ITFCIpswich Town signed Stephen Ward, David Cornell and Oli Hawkins on the same day. Picture: ITFC

Goalkeeper Cornell has had the least playing time but has impressed when called upon in the cups, Hawkins has shown you don’t necessarily need to score goals to play as an effective striker and veteran Ward has been the most steady of steady hands since coming in at left-back. His absence through injury has been a real blow.

Alongside them have been the loan arrivals of two highly-rated youngsters.

All we’ve seen of defender Mark McGuinness so far is his impressive display against Ipswich for Arsenal’s youngsters in the EFL Trophy, with the teenager having to bide his time, while Keanan Bennetts made his debut at Blackpool last weekend following the winger’s move from Borussia Monchengladbach.

MORE: Town need Dobra to follow Woolfenden and Downes’ path... which is why they need to be certain Crawley is right for him

Left back Stephen Ward has signed a one-year deal at Portman Road Picture: ITFCLeft back Stephen Ward has signed a one-year deal at Portman Road Picture: ITFC

Town have loaned a handful of their own youngsters out, too, with Idris El Mizouni heading to Cambridge and Harry Wright joining GAIS in Sweden. Adam Przybek is at Braintree, Bailey Clements and Kai Brown are both at Dagenham and Levi Andoh is at Lowestoft.

What do Town need?

If everyone was fit, it would be hard to argue that Town really need to bring in anyone before the window closes at 5pm tomorrow.

They’ve got at least two senior players in every position and are stacked in plenty of areas. But, as we know, injury has bitten already.

The once busy midfield engine room is currently without Cole Skuse for the next three months, Flynn Downes for at least two and it remains to be seen when Jon Nolan is fit to return after missing the Blackpool game with a calf problem. Teddy Bishop left that game with a back injury, but it’s not expected to keep him out.

Even with Skuse and Downes out for prolonged spells, Town would surely have enough there.

But do Ipswich need a striker? As things stand, only Oli Hawkins and Kayden Jackson are available in the central position, with James Norwood out for two months with a hamstring injury and Aaron Drinan at least a month away from full fitness.

If there was to be a late addition, this would surely be the area to target, but the financial realities of the coronavirus pandemic and a lack of space against the salary cap, both in terms of finance and the 22-man squad limit, means it’s going to be difficult to bring anyone else in.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert. Photo: PAIpswich Town manager Paul Lambert. Photo: PA

What Lambert’s said

Town boss Paul Lambert has made it pretty clear that he’s not expecting any further incomings before the window closes, with the Scot likely to reiterate that point when he holds his pre-Accrington press conference tomorrow morning.

“With the salary cap threshold now, there’s no way we can do anything,” Lambert said. “If somebody left the football club, we can’t get anybody in, you can’t spend the money.

MORE: Mark Heath - Saying sorry to Nsiala, Chambers and Lambert – and why Dobra should go out on loan

Armando Dobra could move on loan before the transfer deadline. Picture: PAArmando Dobra could move on loan before the transfer deadline. Picture: PA

“The salary cap should never have happened, but it has for whatever reason it has. But I don’t visualise anybody coming in here.”

We’ve heard managers proclaim deadline day to be a quiet one, only for a late arrival, though.

It’s not over until it’s over.

What could still happen

While any incoming is unlikely, Ipswich have been looking at the possibiity of getting some of their younger players out on loan.

Chief among them has been Armando Dobra, with Town discussing a potential move with Crawley Town as well as the possibility of a move to Scotland as they look to get their box of tricks some senior experience. However, the youngster is set to remain at Portman Road and is keen to push towards Lambert’s first-team.

Opinion is split on whether the teenager would be best served remaining at Portman Road, pushing for senior football here, or experiencing the rough and tumble of League Two, but what’s clear is that the young Albania international is ready to play regular games somewhere.

Lambert has previously stated Ben Folami, Brett McGavin and Corrie Ndaba are all available for temporary moves, with Folami looking likely to join Melbourne Victory ahead of their A-League season beginning in December.

Corrie Ndaba is another young player who could go out on loan.     Picture: Steve Waller        www.stephenwaller.comCorrie Ndaba is another young player who could go out on loan. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

It’s understood League Two clubs have shown interest in both McGavin and Ndaba, who have shown plenty of ability during their first-team appearances, but injuries at Ipswich need to be considered here.

MORE: The former Ipswich Town players still looking for new clubs

Lambert’s already said he will need to see how Ward’s Achilles injury has progressed before allowing Ndaba out on loan, while the previously mentioned midfield issues may mean McGavin is required for cover, should Nolan and Bishop be out for any length of time.

Both Ndaba and McGavin need games, though.

Another young man, who has shown flashes of ability and needs regular football, is Barry Cotter. Tellingly the Irishman has not been involved in the EFL Trophy so far this season and would be available, either on loan or on a permanent basis, should another club show interest.


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