Ipswich Town seem to be toying with the idea of signing Will Keane on a free transfer following his release from Hull.
Keane had a loan spell at the Portman Road last season and impressed, however, like much of Keane’s career, injuries hampered his season.
The former Manchester United striker is now 26 and has just been released by Hull City after three seasons at the club.
In April, Ipswich boss talked up the potential of signing Keane but has recently distanced himself from the link, saying “we will wait and see” about the prospect.
Speaking to the East Anglian Times yesterday (June 27), Lambert spoke of his need for players who are fully fit.
He said: “Will’s probably still rehabbing with his hamstring.
“I don’t know whether he might be on holiday.
“That’s the situation with him. We’ll wait and see. I need everybody fully fit to perform.”
Whether it’s Keane or not, Ipswich are in need of a striker after they sold forward Ellis Harrison to League One rivals Portsmouth.
Having a look at last season’s stats – we discuss whether or not Will Keane would be a good signing for Ipswich.
In Will Keane’s six-month loan deal he only managed to pick up 11 games, but that was a result of two hamstring injuries which kept him out for much of the second half of the season.
In those 11 games, the 6’2″ striker managed to chip in with three goals, which might not be the largest return, but within the context of Ipswich’s season is not a bad return. Keane actually finished as the player with the best minutes to goal ratio (goal every 239 minutes) within the whole of Ipswich’s squad.
He only manages an average of one shot per match, which simply isn’t very good, however as a centre forward it might not always be his fault if the quality to supply isn’t there. Nevertheless, it is less than the majority of the other regular strikers, and is something which needs to be higher.
At one tackle per game, Keane has the best record in his position for the whole team, which is encouraging. While scoring goals is important, the ability to defend and press as a centre forward is really important. Keane gets himself about and that pressure has the ability to force mistakes, especially in League One.
Keane averages 0.8 key passes per game, which in comparison to the rest of the squad is a really good stat and beats off the rest of the strikers at Ipswich who played more than 10 games. Keane is a good footballer and has strong passing ability – which is why he’s got it in his locker to play as an attacking midfielder.
At 6’2”, Keane average 3.3 aerial duels won per game, which is high for someone in his position – the second highest of all the strikers who have played more than 10 games.
Keane’s pass success rate might not seem much at 72.5 per cent, but playing in a team who finishes bottom of the league it is not easy to keep possession, and he is comfortably the highest for anyone in his position at Ipswich. Keane can hold the ball up well with his strength and height and also has the ability to ship it on and bring others into the game.
Based on his statistics – which are somewhat limited to his injuries – you would have to say Keane was probably the stand out striker.
In League One he can cause a lot of problems and would probably be a very good player at that level.
The decision for Lambert to make is clear: is it justifiable to sign him up full-time if he is going to have recurring injuries.
It’s a tough one for Ipswich as they need a striker pretty desperately, but they are back to square one if he suffers an injury.