June 16, 2024

As we approach the final few games of the season and teams begin to learn their new fate for the new season, eyes start to turn to those whose contracts are expiring. In the case of Ipswich Town, six players are in this scenario as well as two players who see their loan deals expiring and will return to their respective parent clubs.

The seven players are Nick HayesKane Vincent YoungRichard KeoghMassimo LuongoSone AlukoGeorge Hirst (Loan) and Tyreece John Jules (Loan),

Nick Hayes

The 24 year-old has been third choice goalkeeper behind Christian Walton and Vaclav Hladky without making a senior appearance to date. Nick Hayes initially came through the Ipswich Town Youth System set up but was released back in 2018, since then he was won caps with England U17s and most recently has spent time with Hemel Hempstead.

With Christian Walton having secured the number 1 goalkeeper shirt for the foreseeable future and Hladky being a very solid back up, it’s hard to see a way through at Portman Road. However, being around the first team with Ipswich Town could prove fundamental for Hayes’ development. But being 24 years-old, he will prefer to have the opportunity to play first team football most weeks. Therefore, I wouldn’t renew this contract but wish him all the best.

Kane Vincent-Young

Kane joined the Tractor Boys in 2019 after 112 appearances for Essex side Colchester United. Operating on either the left or the right side of defence, there’s no doubt he is an asset to any League One club.

When he first came into the side, he looked like a cut above at right back, but having sustained a nasty injury which kept him sidelined for six months saw him fall down the pecking order. Ipswich signed Right-back Harry Clarke in January from Arsenal and he’s been as good as anyone under Kieran McKenna, not forgetting that Ipswich recently activated an option in Janoi Donacien’s contract to keep him at Portman Road for another year. It’s hard to see a pathway for the former Colchester man, having said that I would renew his contract as his versatility is a massive bonus.

Richard Keogh

Having made 633 club appearances an representing Republic of Ireland 43 times (including at U19 and U21 levels) no one can deny his invaluable experience and his natural ability to lead. Since Keogh arrived at Portman Road, it is fair to say that he’s been more of a mentor than a regular in the 18. Being aged 36, it’s only natural that the transition from playing every week to coaching may be the right option to take.

When you have the experiences and voice of a excellent leader like Keogh, I believe you must make the most of that asset. Therefore I would renew his contract, there’s no doubt his influence in the dressing room has helped lift the side at times and I don’t see a reason to take this away.

Massimo Luongo

In January 2023, after training with Kieran McKenna’s men for a few weeks, Massimo signed a short term deal until the end of the season. It’s fair to say that the impact the former Middlesbrough man has made is immeasurable. He’s formed a fantastic on-the-pitch relationship with Sam Morsy, possibly the best central midfield partnership in the league.

In now his second spell with the Blues, The Australian has made 11 appearances scoring once. But goal scoring isn’t the reason he’s been bought in by Kieran McKenna, he protects the defence excellently well and shows next touches and creates really good opportunities. In any midfield, you need grit, determination and bite and Massimo offers you all three and so much more. It’s no a brainier for me that a contract renewal is coming his way.

Sone Aluko

Some qualities and abilities have shone through when he enters the fold. Not necessarily a goalscorer, but the sharp turns and great passes that he has in his locker makes him a handful for any defence.

It’s fair to say he’s in a similar position as Richard Keogh, in fact he hasn’t been used much on the pitch as much as off it. Playing opportunities have been limited for the attacking midfielder but his experience has proved vital at times, therefore I would renew his contract.

Loan Deals

George Hirst and Tyreece John Jules will return to Leicester City and Arsenal respectively at the end of the season. The Leicester man has been a regular starter since he move to Suffolk. Having spend the first half of the season with Championship side Blackburn Rovers, a loan move to Ipswich for the second half of the season was seen as the ideal option. Having scored 4 goals in 18 appearances you would be forgiven for saying he isn’t the most prolific striker, but in McKenna’s system the strikers hold up play and the ability to bring others into play is just as important. If Ipswich are to get promoted, a permanent move to Suffolk could be appealing for the striker especially given the fact that this is his 4th loan club in the past 4 years. If I’m Kieran McKenna I would be making enquiries about bringing Hirst on a permanent deal to Portman Road.

Tyreece John Jules joined the Blues at the start of the season on a full season loan. Unfortunately, the striker suffered an injury after making just 17 appearances and finding the net 3 times. Although he has shown quality at Portman Road, I wouldn’t be shocked if Ipswich don’t pursue a move for the 22 year-old.

Whilst you’re here, don’t forget to check out our show The Football League Weekly, a comprehensive roundup of all things ChampionshipLeague One and League Two.

Each week during the course of the season a new episode of Football League Weekly will air, with the hosts taking a look at the upcoming fixtures as well as rounding off the recent results and discussing all of the big talking points from the EFL.

Leave a Reply

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