For once, just once, Ipswich Town have been positive and productive in the transfer window but how will the new signings fare this season?
Compared to previous years of signing inexperienced players on-loan, selling our best players and losing our young talent to injury or loan deals, Paul Hurst has done wonderfully this summer.
Heading into the transfer window I had just a few targets in mind: lose the deadwood players; make use of our prospering youth players; sign players with a thirst for success. This is exactly what Hurst has achieved.
Central defender Adam Webster joined Bristol City early on in the transfer window. But, aside from David McGoldrick, who walked away from his contract to join Sheffield United, Luke Hyam, Stephen Gleeson, Mustapha Carayol, Kevin Bru and Michael Crowe were all released from Portman Road.
Meanwhile, youngsters Barry Cotter, Aaron Drinan and Conor McKendry were all handed chances to impress during pre-season and Hurst supposedly likes the look of Josh Emmanuel and Ben Folami.
The exits of Martyn Waghorn and Joe Garner – to Derby County and Wigan Athletic respectively – has seen the Blues lose a total of 26 goals from last season. However, the additions that Hurst has made provide an exciting thought ahead of what lies ahead. Perhaps Hurst has managed to find some lower league gems that will succeed at Portman Road!
The 24-year-old became Ipswich’s most expensive signing in almost a decade on Deadline Day. Joining from Accrington Stanley for £1.6m, the young striker is looking to make an impact in his debut season in England’s second tier.
Known for his blistering pace, the young striker scored 16 goals for last season’s Sky Bet League Two champions. Jackson is not an unknown asset to Hurst having played briefly under his new boss while on-loan at Grimsby Town.
Where Jackson may lack experience at this newfound level, the former Accrington Stanley front-man will make up in desire and a thirst to achieve.
Joining from Shrewsbury Town, Nsiala adds an extra physical element to City’s back-line.
Having grown up in DR Congo and Liverpool, the no-nonsense central defender failed to make the cut at Everton and came close to quitting football.
Nsiala regained his love for the sport at Grimsby and followed Hurst from the Mariners to Shrewsbury where he played a key role in their squad last season.
Also switching to Portman Road from Shrewsbury, Nolan has been captured to effectively be Waghorn’s direct replacement. While he may not be able to be the 16-goal-a-season striker that Waghorn was, it seems more likely that goals will be spread across the team rather than relying on one player.
Another to be let go by Everton, Nolan enjoyed spells in non-league with Stockport, Lincoln and Wrexham before heading to Grimsby to play under Hurst. Nolan followed Hurst to Shrewsbury and scored 10 goals last season as the Shrews finished 3rd and reached the Sky Bet League One play-off final, which they lost to Rotherham.
If someone asked Tayo how he wanted to impress his new team’s supporters, he would have most likely replied saying something along the lines of “I just want to help the team as best as I can and hopefully we’ll get a win.”
While a win was not quite achieved, the young midfielder certainly left a good impression on the Tractor Boys as he curled in a stoppage time equaliser in his home debut against Blackburn Rovers. The versatile 20-year-old has been capped at various levels within the England youth set-up and is extremely quick-on-the-ball with excellent agility in the centre of the pitch.
Making the step-up to the Sky Bet Championship this year, Donacien was part of a winning squad last season and will be keen to continue his success. Having played an instrumental role in Accrington Stanley’s title winning season, the 25-year-old defender will most likely be utilised by Hurst on the right side of defence.