Gio, Jimmy, Magic, Reuser, DJ and more – a look at Town’s all-time top loanees
PUBLISHED: 09:46 17 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:46 17 April 2020
Ipswich Town have had some great loan players over the years - but who’s the best? Mark Heath takes a look at the contenders...
GIOVANNI DOS SANTOS
The player that many fans will instinctively offer up when the greatest loan player question is asked. It still seems surreal that a player as gifted as Dos Santos, a former Barcelona youth talent, graced Portman Road at all.
He arrived on loan from Spurs in March 2009 and saw action in eight games, scoring four goals.
Indeed, he actually netted the last time Town beat bitter rivals Norwich, all the way back on April 19, 2009, in a 3-2 triumph at Portman Road.
Gio went on to play for Mallorca, Villareal and the LA Galaxy. He’s arguably the most gifted technical player Town have ever had on loan, but is he the best?
When Magilton arrived at Portman Road from Sheffield Wednesday in January 1999, few could have predicted that he would go on to become a Town legend.
The creative Irishman played 11 games on loan, scoring once, and impressed so much that there was a clamour for him to make the move permanent.
He duly did, signing full-time for £682,5000 in March and going on to lead the Blues into the Premier League the following season.
The man simply called Magic made more than 300 appearances for Town as a player, before also leading the club as manager.
The superbly-skilled Sixto was a bright spot as Town were relegated from the Premier League in 2001/02.
He spent the season on loan from Inter Milan and quickly became a fan favorite with his drive, flair and passion.
Peralta netted five goals in 29 games, including a brace against Dagenham & Redbridge in the FA Cup.
He also played as Town enjoyed that famous 1-0 win over his parent club Inter at Portman Road in November 2001.
His time at Town may have ended in controversy and rancour, but few players before or since made the impact that Bullard did on loan at Portman Road.
The charismatic midfielder arrived on loan from Hull in January 2011, and was a total revelation, scoring five goals in 16 games and earming such adoration from the fans that a famous chant was born.
He was so good, in fact, that he was named player of the year.
It seemed highly unlikely that Bullard would return on a permanent deal, but he did just that in August, sparking sales of ‘Bullard wigs’ in the club shop. Sadly, he never hit the heights again as a full-time Town player, and lasted just one season before a night out in Newcastle ended his career in Suffolk.
The diminutive Scottish winger spent most of the 2015/16 campaign on loan from Bournemouth, and what a player he was.
Fast, fearless and skilful, Fraser showed the talent that would see him go on to star in the Premier League for the Cherries.
He scored six goals in 21 appearances for Town and was a constant threat running with the ball.
Sadly, injury cut his loan spell short in February of that season.
The hair, the confidence, the goals – Reuser brought a swagger to Ipswich when he arrived from Ajax to bolster the promotion push in March 2000.
Largely coming off the bench, the Dutchman would go on to write his name into Town history with some vital goals, including the promotion-sealing strike at Wembley in that famous play-off final win over Barnsley.
He scored six goals in 14 games as the Blues returned to the Premier League in what now seems like a beautiful, implausable dream.
He signed permanently that summer, and went on to score another 15 goals for the Blues before departing in 2004.
Murphy had three different loan spells at Town, from two different clubs, before making his move permanent.
The big Irish striker first graced Portman Road from Sunderland in February 2010, netting six times in 18 games.
He returned, this time from Celtic, for two consecutive season-long loan deals in August 2011, bagging 11 strikes across those spells.
And when he finally signed full-time, in June 2013, he really found his shooting boots - most notably in that unlikely play-off season of 2014/15, where he scored 27 goals.
Wiliams went one better than Murphy, spending four loan spells at Town across a period of three years.
In truth, it was a case of diminishing marginal returns for the Blues as the lightweight Welshman struggled with injuries and was frequently kicked around the park. At his best he was a breathtaking creative force, taking players on and crafting chances from nothing.
He first arrived from Crystal Palace in February 2014, scoring once in 13 games, before returning in September and again the following March, though injuries limited his involvement.
His last spell at Town was on loan from Palace again for the 2016/17 season, but he only made one start due to injury problems.
The Welsh wing wizard spent the 2016/17 season on loan at Town from Leicester and followed on from Fraser as a sparkling temporary signing.
He was capable of some extraordinary runs and strikes, bagging some cracking goals among his tally of 11 in 36 games.
In one memorable three game spell he netted five times in three games – one at QPR, a brace in the FA Cup against Lincoln and another double against Blackburn.
Town were never going to be able to afford him full-time though, and he duly signed for Derby for £5m in the summer of 2017.
He may not be one that springs to mind straight away, but one could argue that Campbell was actually the most important of all these loanees.
He arrived from QPR in October 2012, with Town languishing towards the foot of the Championship in the final days of Paul Jewell, and scored some vital goals as Town, re-invigorated by new boss Mick McCarthy, pulled away from trouble.
Campbell, whom QPR had signed from Blackpool for £1.2m, actually scored 10 goals in 17 games for Town, a superb strike rate for a player in a struggling side.
Sadly, he returned to Rangers in January 2013 - but his contribution to that season of revival should not be forgotten.
When midfielder Andrews arrived at Portman Road from Blackburn in August 2011, he wasn’t noted as a prolific goalscorer by any means.
But, by the time he departed the following January, he’d scored nine times in 20 games.
Perhaps most notable among those were his quick brace after half-time at Barnsley in December, with the Blues trailing 2-0 at the break and boss Paul Jewell under serious pressure after a terrible run.
Andrews’ strikes were the catalyst for a remarkable fightback which saw Town win 5-3, a victory which probably saved Jewell’s job.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the orange box above for details.