Ipswich Town are facing a competitive end to the 2020/21 League One season, with the Tractor Boys being one of a number of clubs in the play off mix as we reach the final two months.
And unlike some of their competitors, the size of their squad means that Paul Cook can rotate as he please between now and the end of the season without really losing a lot of quality.
Ipswich have a lot of players on their books from their Championship days, with the likes of Alan Judge, Freddie Sears, Kayden Jackson and others part of the team still.
It’s something that Cook is eager to change though, with 27 permanent players in their first team squad right now and that is a number that needs to come down.
“The brutal truth is, going back to pre-seasons, clubs need a clear pathway. Having squads of our size, for whatever reason it’s been put together, the numbers are too many. It’s something we’ll address as we go forwards,” said Cook, per the East Anglian Daily Times.
One of those who could face the axe in the summer is Andre Dozzell, who has been at the club since the age of 8.
Dozzell made his first team debut at the age of just 16 back in 2016, and whilst he’s always been in-and-around the senior squad, injuries have meant that before this current season, the most appearances the 21-year-old has made in a league campaign is 19.
He also ruptured his cruciate ligaments in 2017 – a huge blow to a player who was just 18 years old at the time – but he recovered well from that as not every player would have the mental strength to get over such an injury at the start of their career.
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Dozzell has been a key figure for Ipswich in League One this season, making 28 appearances up to now, and penned a new three-year deal in December to keep him contracted until 2024.
That doesn’t mean he can’t leave the club though, and Championship clubs QPR and Blackburn Rovers were both linked with the youngster by Ipswich site TWTD.
Now may be the right time to cash in on Dozzell, with the club having a player of a similar age that is just as good in Flynn Downes, and then you have the more experienced options of Jon Nolan, Cole Skuse and 21-year-old Tristan Nydam, who is just returning from long-term injury.
If Ipswich aren’t promoted this season, then the case to sell Dozzell grows even stronger, so he will be one name to watch over the course of the summer in regards to rumours over his future.