May 24 2013 Latest news:
By Dave Gooderham
Friday, April 27, 2012
PAUL Jewell will today end the season with a new-look midfield following Grant Leadbitter’s decision not to sign a new contract at the club.
But the performance of Andy Drury and Ryan Stevenson at Doncaster may not be enough to convince the Blues boss that he doesn’t need to enter the transfer market to replace the man who was Ipswich captain at the start of the season.
Leadbitter yesterday went public on his decision to leave Town after Roy Keane signed him for £2.65 million in the summer of 2009.
While the 26-year-old said he wanted a fresh challenge, it leaves Jewell in quite a quandary this summer with a new midfielder becoming a top priority.
The Town boss would have been heartened by Drury’s performance in the second half of the season while fans remain convinced local boy Luke Hyam – injured today – should play a big part next year.
But with Leadbitter following Lee Bowyer in exiting the club and doubts remaining about Jimmy Bullard’s ability to rediscover his form, Ipswich now look a little lightweight in that department.
Leadbitter, who will not play against Doncaster, said: “I never spoke to Ipswich about finances, I just feel the time is right for a new challenge and a new experience.
“The fans have been brilliant and I have a lot of time for Paul Jewell and always got on very well with him – you see how hard he works for the club.”
Leadbitter made 126 appearances, scoring 14 goals.