Town must decide on futures of out-of-contract players... so who should stay and who should go?
PUBLISHED: 15:16 27 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:16 27 March 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Whether Mick McCarthy remains Ipswich manager or the club make a change, there are decisions to make. Andy Warren looks at the out-of-contract players.
For: On his day, the Republic of Ireland international has the ability to be one of the Championship’s most creative forwards. He has the neat touch to drift past or slide through defences, is a good finisher and can pop up with match-winning moments out of nothing.
Against: Sadly, those moments have been few and far between of late as injuries have struck - most recently a groin problem that ended his season. He has played more than 30 games just once in his five full seasons at Portman Road, with injury playing a big part in that, while manager Mick McCarthy has often found it difficult to play the striker in a role which makes the most of his abilities.
He is most effective through the middle, perhaps in a withdrawn role behind a striker, but has all-too-often found himself deployed in wide positions. Unlike many of his team-mates, the club does not hold an option to automatically extend his deal.
For: Bishop’s talent is not in doubt. He burst onto the scene in the run to the play-offs in 2014-15 and added a new dimension to the Ipswich midfield. He is creative, dynamic and forward thinking. Even in his limited involvement this season, he has shown just how much talent he has at his disposal.
Against: It’s his availability, not his footballing ability that has put Bishop’s Ipswich Town future in doubt. He has made just 28 appearances in the last three seasons as injuries have bitten, with the Blues’ decision makers needing to decide if the 21-year-old’s ability and potential outweighs his injury risk. Town have an option to extend his contract by a further year.
For: Unlike McGoldrick and Bishop, Hyam will have the chance to prove his worth on the pitch after recovering from knee and ankle injuries to return in January. The 26-year-old is combative, cares deeply about Ipswich as a graduate of the youth academy at his hometown club and adds steel to the midfield whenever he’s on the field. His past injuries have not proved an issue since his return at the start of 2018.
Against: Like Bishop, the large number of midfielders already at the club will mean a decision over his future will need to be made carefully. Cole Skuse, Tom Adeyemi, Emyr Huws, Flynn Downes and Tristan Nydam are all contracted for next season. His limitations going forward will also come into the equation. Like Bishop, the club possess an option to extend his deal.
For: The Irishman arrived on a short-term deal in January to offer a much-needed option in an injury-ravaged midfield. His start at Bolton was promising as he passed and moved to provide the spark which led to the Ipswich equaliser, but he has not consistently produced at that high standard. He would perhaps benefit from being part of a midfield playing a more expansive game.
Against: The sheer number of midfield players at the club next season is an issue for the Irishman. The futures of Bishop and Hyam will certainly come into play while the return of Dozzell from injury and the prospect of Downes and Nydam should be considered.
For: Has something very few members of the current squad possess - the ability to run at defenders and put the opposition on the back foot in wide positions. Over the last three years, in Ryan Fraser, Tom Lawrence and Bersant Celina, those kind of players have needed to be loaned in as the Blues don’t possess the financial power to shop in that market. Showed what he is capable of in the match-winning display at Preston.
Against: The knock on Carayol throughout his career seems to be his inconsistency. By nature, he is a player who can blow hot and cold and has a mixed injury record. Has he shown enough so far to prove he deserves an extended stay?
For: The goalkeeper has impressed in training and has acted as understudy following Dean Gerken’s season-ending hip injury. Has caught the eye of the Welsh management, earning a senior call-up for their two-game visit to China.
Against: Is an unproven quantity given he has yet to make his Ipswich debut despite having the extension option taken on his previous deal last season. His senior experience consists of a handful of games during loan spells at Woking and Braintree.
It is as good as certain that the midfielder will be moving on this summer, given he has been on the transfer list all season, has barely featured and came close to a move away last summer.