This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Ipswich Town are working to bring Hayden Coulson to Portman Road on a season-long loan from Middlesbrough, according to the East Anglian Daily Times.
The versatile left-sided player made just five starts for the Teesside club last year compared to 20 the season prior.
Whilst it seems Coulson remains part of Middlesbrough’s plans for the future, The Tractor boys are hoping to secure his services as they embark on their third season in League One.
The 23-year-old, whose energy and attacking threat has seen him progress into a left-sided midfielder at times, has come through the England youth set up, making 15 appearances at U16-u18 level.
Here we delve into Ipswich’s interest…
Considering Ipswich are undertaking such a major rebuild, it’s hard to keep up with what they need. In fact, it would probably be quicker to write down positions they don’t need to target.
But regardless of that, Hayden Coulson has a whole season’s worth of Championship football under his belt from his playing time in the last few years and that can do a side like Ipswich Town no harm when they want to return to the second tier.
The rebuild also adds in another attribute Ipswich can use to their advantage: versatility.
It would be understandable if they lost out on a few targets this summer after chasing so many – and Coulson’s ability to play at left-back and in a more advanced position on the wing is something that could be useful as injuries start to creep in during a busy next campaign.
New signing Matt Penney can also play at left-back, so the duo will be keeping each other’s performance levels up throughout the season and this is exactly what Paul Cook requires if they are to make a promotion charge next year.
On a loan as well, it wouldn’t be too costly for the League One side and if it doesn’t work out, they can easily cut their ties with him at the end of the campaign. It’s an ideal move and one that would bring value to Portman Road.
I think that Coulson would definitely be a really good signing for a League One club – however I feel as though Ipswich have just signed someone in the exact same mould in Matt Penney.
Even though both players can play all down the left side of the pitch, we can assume that they’re being targeted to be attack-minded left backs.
The Tractor Boys could probably do with someone a bit more defensively solid to challenge Penney at left-back instead of a very similar type in the form of Coulson, but that opinion will change if he’s being targeted as a winger.
If it’s as a left back though then I feel as though there’s better options out there who will be good options in games where Cook wants to play a bit more defensively – but he knows better than I do and if Coulson is good enough for him then he will probably be good enough for Ipswich Town.
I can see the logic behind this one.
Ipswich definitely need to strengthen at left-back, especially with Stephen Ward leaving the club at the end of last season, and they need someone who can challenge Myles Kenlock.
Coulson is a decent player who has shown glimpses of his ability for Boro in the last couple of seasons, but is in need of regular game time having started only five games in the Championship last term.
I think he offers plenty of presence going forward and he is effective at driving play forward, but his end product needs to improve.
Perhaps a step down a division will help him improve in that area of the game, and if there’s a manager who can get the best out of him, it’s Paul Cook, having worked wonders with the likes of Antonee Robinson and Enda Stevens previously.