18 July 2024

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Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna has not let up in his transfer window with four new signings – and after beating Sunderland on the opening day, things are going to plan in East Anglia.

The Tractor Boys went up last season after finishing on 99 points and scoring over 100 goals, quite an incredible feat for McKenna in his first full season as boss at Portman Road. But whilst that was a great achievement for the young boss, attentions have now turned to the Championship season.

Many have predicted Ipswich to battle for the play-off spaces, and with four new signings that could well become a reality on top of their already-star-studded squad. But the Northern Irishman will look to add to his squad almost definitely – and Football League World takes a look at their latest rumours.

Kieran McKenna on new signings

Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna is one of the most sought-after bosses in the entire Football League, and that only improved after the win on Wearside. But having only signed four players this summer, the former Manchester United man has given his lowdown on his newest recruits.

As per the East Anglian Daily Times, the Tractor Boys boss was over the moon to get his signings done. “George (Hirst) made a really big impact for us in the second half of last season and showed why we were really keen to bring him to the club over a couple of windows.

“But it wasn’t just about last season because we think he has room to improve and the ability to go to the next level with the team. That’s the challenge for George and also the challenge for the team now.

“We’re delighted to have Omari (Hutchinson) with us because he is a young player with real potential who has shown a real desire to come here for his first senior loan. So we think he is a good fit for us and we can be a good match for each other.

“We’re delighted to have Jack (Taylor) in and he is a player who fits the culture we’re continuing to build here. He is hungry and wants to improve and he will bring qualities that add to the group.”

Adam Armstrong linked

In what would be one of the most audacious moves of the summer, Ipswich have been linked with Adam Armstrong, who scored – albeit he may not have known much about it – on his return to the Championship after two seasons.

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The Newcastle-born striker has been a goalscorer ever since his career took off at Coventry in 2015-16, where he scored 20 league goals as an eighteen-year-old in the third-tier.

But the star finally got his big break in 2020, when he bagged 28 league goals for Blackburn in the Championship to seal a move to Saints.

The Premier League wasn’t his forte, and his return to the second-tier has already bore fruit. And, according to Alan Nixon, McKenna has earmarked the former Rovers man as a top target.

It’s thought that £8million would be the highest that Ipswich would go for his services, though Russell Martin would prefer to keep him at St. Mary’s.

Time for Tuanzebe?

Having previously worked at Old Trafford, Kieran McKenna is reportedly set to return to Manchester in a bid to sign Axel Tuanzebe.

That’s according to TEAMtalk, who state that Ipswich could offer him a home down south. Tuanzebe is a free agent after United released him in the summer, though with just 37 appearances since making his debut and being hit with injuries and loans throughout, it seemed the right move.

Sheffield United have been linked with his services amid their Premier League return, though Ipswich have joined them in the hunt with McKenna having worked with Tuanzebe in their time up north together.

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The St Mary’s side had lined up in the same 4-3-3 system for the first eight matches of the Championship season but made a decision to change following four consecutive losses.

Martin and his team were able to surprise the division’s form team, Leeds United, managed by his former boss Daniel Farke, with a complete midfield shake-up.

Flynn Downes anchored a four, set up in a diamond with Will Smallbone and Stuart Armstrong flanking free man Charly Alcaraz – something between a false eight and false nine.

Kamaldeen Sulmana played almost purely as a left-winger while Adam Armstrong drifted between hugging the right touchline and making incisive central runs.

 

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