June 13, 2024

Lucas Joao is among the free agents who should be on Ipswich Town’s list of summer targets.

It was an excellent season for Ipswich Town this year as they won promotion to the Championship.

The Tractor Boys will return to the second tier following a four-year absence after finishing as runners-up behind champions Plymouth Argyle.

Kieran McKenna’s men were in relentless form during the season half of the season, going unbeaten in their last 19 games, while they scored an incredible 101 league goals throughout the campaign.

The 36-year-old admitted that his long-term target is to reach the Premier League with the club and journalist Alan Nixon says that he will be given a “big kitty” to spend this summer.

New deals have been offered to Sone Aluko and Massimo Luongo, but Joel Coleman, Richard Keogh, Matt Penney and Kane Vincent-Young have all left the club after the expiry of their contracts, while loanees George Hirst and Tyreece John-Jules have returned to their parent clubs.

Ipswich are likely to spend big over the coming months, but we looked at some of the free agents they could target to help save money.

Which free agents should Ipswich Town consider?

Daniel Ayala

Defender Ayala left Blackburn Rovers this summer after his contract expired.

Ayala’s time at Ewood Park was disrupted by injury, but he still played an important role in the club’s play-off push, making 26 appearances in all competitions.

The Spaniard is vastly experienced at Championship level and has won promotion from the level with Middlesbrough in 2016, so he could be a useful addition both on and off the pitch for the Tractor Boys.

Josh Key

Key is out of contract at Exeter City and is yet to put pen-to-paper on an extension.

The 23-year-old impressed for the Grecians in League One this season, scoring four goals and providing two assists in 48 appearances in all competitions.

Harry Clarke is currently the Tractor Boys’ first-choice right-back, but Key, who has previously attracted interest from Luton Town, Swansea City and Blackburn, has excellent defensive and offensive qualities which would make him the perfect fit for McKenna’s system.

Josh Onomah

Midfielder Onomah has been offered a new contract at Preston North End after an impressive stint at Deepdale following his arrival on a short-term deal in January.

The 26-year-old is a former England youth international who has proven himself to be a consistent performer in the Championship in recent years, winning two promotions from the division with Fulham in 2020 and 2022.

Midfield is an area in need of strengthening for the Tractor Boys as Dominic Ball and Panutche Camara have both struggled with injury this season, while Luongo is yet to commit his future to the club.

North End are keen to keep Onomah, but Ipswich could prove a tempting destination if they were to make a move.

Jake Livermore

Livermore left West Bromwich Albion this summer after seven-and-a-half years at The Hawthorns.

The 33-year-old joined the Baggies from Hull City in January 2017 and went on to captain the club, helping them to promotion to the Premier League in 2020.

Albion head coach Carlos Corberan praised Livermore’s leadership qualities despite his lack of game time and while he is unlikely be a regular at Portman Road, his experience in the dressing room could be vital in helping the Tractor Boys adapt to the Championship.

Chiedozie Ogbene

Winger Ogbene is out of contract at Rotherham United this summer and the Millers are keen to help hold of their prized asset.

Ogbene attracted interest from the likes of Middlesbrough, Millwall and Swansea in January and he is expected to be in demand once again over the coming months after an impressive season at the New York Stadium.

The Republic of Ireland international scored nine goals and provided four assists in 42 appearances in all competitions this campaign and he would be an exciting addition to an already strong Ipswich attack.

Bradley Dack

Dack departed Blackburn this summer after six years at Ewood Park.

The 29-year-old has been plagued by injuries in recent years, but he has shown his ability when fit, scoring seven goals and registering three assists in 34 appearances in all competitions this season.

While Dack’s injury record is cause for concern, he would be a low risk addition on a free transfer and Portman Road could be the perfect place for him to reignite his career.

Lucas Joao

Striker Joao has left Reading after the club’s relegation from the Championship.

The 29-year-old has proven himself to be a consistent scorer in the second tier, netting 45 times in 119 appearances in his four-year stint with the Royals.

Ipswich are in needed of reinforcements up front after Hirst and John-Jules returned to their parent clubs and in a side that creates plenty of chances, Joao could be the prolific finisher McKenna will be searching for this summer.

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