June 14, 2024

Having recently enjoyed my first ever season as a season ticket holder, followed by a chance meeting with the Ipswich Town squad in Vegas, my passion for contributing to the Town community has well and truly been stoked!

I’m hoping to bring some data-based analytics on various aspects throughout the season but as we’re now only two weeks away from the transfer window opening my first piece is about players who could potentially make good signings.

Going through the team the first place where a potential new signing may be needed is in goal. Christian Walton was the undisputed number one throughout last season and I can see him continuing to be so.

However, Vaclav Hladky’s position is a lot less clear. Town were rumoured to have rebuffed bids in January for him following a couple of impressive performances against Burnley. His 82nd minute substitute appearance against Exeter could indicate that he may fancy another shot at being number one somewhere else. So who could Town turn to to compete with Walton?

The Playoff Hero – Harry Isted

The 26-year-old will likely have a lot of interest following a top class performance for Barnsley in the League One play-off final. Parent club Luton have just confirmed his release so, much like most on my list in this position he will be a free agent in the summer.

He joined Barnsley on loan in January and almost immediately claimed the number one spot with Barnsley only losing four games with him in the side. With him finally enjoying regular football for the first time in his career a permanent move to Barnsley is maybe more likely.

The Essex Boy – Joe Lumley

A Championship regular for QPR, Middlesbrough and this season Reading on loan, Lumley is another one who’s contract is expiring at the end of June. Middlesbrough have confirmed that the goalkeeper is set to be released. Born in Harlow, could he favour a move closer to home?

His stats don’t make the most impressive reading but it should be taken into account that he was playing for a relegated Reading side. He conceded 57 goals in 41 league matches, with form that was sporadic at best, conceding four goals on three separate occasions but also having some excellent games against Swansea and Coventry.

He also collected six yellow cards the joint-most for a goalkeeper in the Championship.

A Northern Ireland International – Conor Hazard

The thrice-capped international is the first one in this list whose stats read more like a second -choice goalkeeper having been back-up keeper for Celtic for four seasons and having loans at Falkirk, Partick Thistle, Dundee and most recently in Finland with HJK where he won the Veikkausliga in 2022. It also saw him play Europa League football against Real Betis, AS Roma and Ludogorets.

Like the rest of the goalkeepers in this list, his contract is expiring but Celtic don’t appear to have released their retained list yet. Could a link up with fellow Northern Irishman McKenna appeal?

The Wildcard – Luca Unbehaun

The first three keepers on the list may be familiar names for some of you and fit with Town’s previous signing strategy in League One of signing from inside the United Kingdom. With promotion to the Championship could Town start to look further afield and potentially look for a longer term Walton replacement rather than a short term number two?

At only 22 years old Unbehaun has only ever featured for Borussia Dortmund II in 3.Liga so would be a bit of an unknown but is a German U20 international and was included in The Guardian‘s next generation 2018 as a highly-rated youngster.

He surely can’t be worse than the last player Ipswich signed who’d previously been at Dortmund.

The Romantic Return – Bartosz Bialkowski

This one will need no introduction, the three-time Ipswich Town and twice Millwall Player of the Year started the season in goal for Millwall but was quickly replaced by George Long.

Some places say his contract expires at the end of June but there is no mention of him on Millwall’s list of released players which means they’ve likely agreed an extension.

At 35 he is likely in a position where a back-up role would suit but it looks likely that this will continue to be at Millwall.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *