Ipswich Town chief executive Mark Ashton revealed to the East Anglian Daily Times that the Tractor Boys ‘made big offers’ to sign Matt Crooks.
Ipswich made 14 first-team signings this summer, including Matt Crooks’ Middlesbrough teammate Sam Morsy. But it could well have been 15 if they had got their man.
Despite his fine form, Crooks suffered relegation with Rotherham United at the end of last season and was a man in demand. Ipswich reportedly made ‘big offers’ to sign the 27-year-old, but instead the player opted for the Championship with Middlesbrough.
Chief executive Mark Ashton said that they signed all of their targets aside from Crooks.
“Paul (Cook) did say to me the other day ‘in fairness to you Mark, you and your team haven’t missed out on many’,” said Ashton.
“I think there was one we missed out on and that was (Matt) Crooks. And look, we made big offers. He had a Championship offer though and he decided to go to the Championship. I can understand that.
“Looking back, I think that’s probably the only one that was a specific target that we wanted, we went for and we didn’t get. Outside of that I couldn’t name one that we really went for and didn’t get.”
How has Crooks started life at Middlesbrough?
The attacker has settled in quickly on Teesside. Crooks has started all five games for Neil Warnock’s side and has scored twice during that time.
Despite it being early doors in his stint at Middlesbrough he has played a variety of positions. He has played as a number 10, in a midfield three, and also as a striker.
As Ashton said, it is understandable that a player wants to play at the highest level possible. He could have continued in League One either with Rotherham or make the switch to Ipswich, but with a step back up to the second tier with Middlesbrough, it looked to be an opportunity to good to turn down.
Crooks has started well at Middlesbrough and looks to be a move that has suited all parties. Ipswich have ultimately missed out, so they will be hoping they have enough without him to achieve promotion to the Championship this season.