'It was an easy decision' - Judge becomes Town's sixth January signing
PUBLISHED: 10:20 15 January 2019
Alan Judge has become Ipswich Town's sixth signing of the January transfer window.
The experienced midfielder joins the Blues from fellow Championship club Brentford for what’s believed to be a nominal fee.
It’s understood Town beat at least one other divisional rival to his signature, just as they did with the recent loan addition of striker Collin Quaner from Huddersfield.
Judge’s contract is until the end of the campaign, though Town do have the option to extend that by a further year.
A five-cap Republic of Ireland international, the 30-year-old former Blackburn, Plymouth and Notts County player has an equal amount of experience in the Championship (116 games, 25 goals) and League One (123 games, 23 goals) and is looking to get his career back on track.
It was at Portman Road back in April 2016 that a strong Luke Hyam challenge left Judge with a nasty leg break which sidelined him for 18 months. He returned to action in January last year, but has largely been restricted to substitute cameo appearances since then.
“I’ve been here before. I know what a big club it is and how good it can be here,” the midfielder told the club wesbite.
“I nearly signed here under Mick McCarthy a few years back and for one reason or another it didn’t happen.
“Then he tried to sign me again last year but I wasn’t fit enough so it’s third time lucky and I’m really looking forward to it.
“It’s a deal until the end of the season and then we will see what happens from there. I’m just focused on playing some games for now, helping the team get up the table and enjoying my football again.
“The minute I spoke to the manager I could feel his enthusiasm for the club and that was enough for me. It was an easy decision.
“I felt wanted immediately and Paul has said to me to go out and play with confidence and try and make things happen. I’ll be giving everything to do that.”
Blues boss Paul Lambert has wasted no time in strengthening his relegation-battling squad this month having already landed Quaner, Will Keane (Hull City, loan), Callum Elder (Leicester City, loan), James Collins (free agent) and Simon Dawkins (free agent).
Town, who moved back to within seven points of safety with last weekend’s 1-0 home with against Rotherham, travel to Blackburn on Saturday.
Born: Dublin, Ireland
Championship stats: 116 games, 25 goals
League One stats: 123 games, 23 goals
- Joins the academy of Premier League club Blackburn Rovers aged 17.
- Makes two cup appearances and is then loaned to Championship club Plymouth for two seasons.
- Signs for League One club Notts County after a loan spell. Scores 17 goals in three seasons in the third tier.
- Returns to Blackburn, by now in the Championship, in 2013 but is soon loaned out to Brentford where he helps them to League One promotion.
- Signs for the newly-promoted Bees permanently and, playing in a deep midfield role, helps them to a fifth-place finish.
- Starts the 2015/16 season in superb form and is nominated for the Football League Player of the Year Award.
- Season is cut short after a Luke Hyam challenge left his leg broken in multiple places at Portman Road.
- Spends 18 months on the sidelines. Finally makes his senior comeback in January 2018.
- Has made just three starts and 16 sub appearances in the Championship this season
IPSWICH TOWN PRO CONTRACTS (45)
KEEPERS (3): Bialkowski, Gerken*, Wright
RIGHT-BACKS (3): Spence*, Emmanuel, Cotter
CENTRE-BACKS (7): Collins*, Chambers*, Pennington**, Nsiala, Donacien, Woolfenden*, C.Smith*
LEFT-BACKS (5): Elder**, Knudsen*, Kenlock*, Clements, Webber*
CENTRE-MIDFIELDERS (11): Skuse, Chalobah**, Downes, Huws, Judge*, Nolan, Bishop*, Dozzell, Adeyemi*, Nydam, El Mizouni
WINGERS (9): Sears, Ward*, Edwards, Lankester, Dawkins*, Rowe, Roberts, McKendry*, McLoughlin*
STRIKERS (7): Quaner**, Keane**, Harrison, Jackson, Morris, Folami, Drinan
* Out of contract this summer (16)
** Loan expires this summer (5)