After the opening months of the 2015/16 Championship season, Ipswich Town were well placed to launch a surprise attack on the playoff places.
The Tractor Boys had won a spot in the top six in the previous campaign against the odds and had carried that form through to the next season.
Mick McCarthy had put together a strong squad shrewdly over the summer with the likes of Jonas Knudsen, Tommy Oar, Jonathan Douglas and Giles Coke all arriving on the cheap or even free.
They were permanently in and around the top-six by the time winter came around when plans were undoubtedly being made for the January transfer window.
But the club snuck in a free agent before Christmas.
This is FLW Rewind where we take a look back at a big decision made by a club, analyse the initial reaction and document what happened next.
— Ipswich Town FC (@Official_ITFC) December 18, 2015
Having been released by Blackburn Rovers in the summer, Luke Varney was available as a free-agent but had failed to earn a move before the start of the season.
The 33-year-old had moved to Portman Road on loan in the previous campaign, scoring once before picking up an injury in the playoffs, but the Ipswich faithful were still excited to see him return on a permanent deal:
@Official_ITFC Great signing. 🙂
— Mary McCourt (@mjcben148) December 18, 2015
— ian smith (@smifdah) December 18, 2015
@Official_ITFC Luke Varney's Havin' a Party!!!
— William Taylor – Vision Mag (@WilliamACTaylor) December 18, 2015
— Ipswich Town Talk (@IpswichTownTalk) December 18, 2015
He was only to be used sporadically from the bench for McCarthy’s side, however, racking up 18 appearances but scoring a disappointing one goal.
But with Freddie Sears and Daryl Murphy proving a deadly partnership it was always going to be hard for him to break into the side.
Nonetheless, he impressed enough to earn a new contract at the club in the summer and once again things were looking up.
With Brett Pitman injured he found more opportunities coming his way but still only managed three goals before January.
His contract was cancelled by mutual consent as he moved to Burton Albion, leaving him a long way short of the expectations set by the fans.