After a long, hard season of frustration, disappointment and unerring inevitability, Ipswich’s 17 season stay in the Championship came to an end last weekend, as a 1-1 draw with Birmingham City at Portman Road confirmed that the Tractor Boys will be playing League One football next season.
Given that they have had as many mangers as they have had away wins this season, or indeed home wins for that matter (two of each) you would feel that the second and current of those managers, Paul Lambert, would have started planning pretty quickly for life in the third tier of English football following his arrival at Portman Road in October.
Judging by his latest comments however, that may not have been so, or at least may not have been so in the case of one particular player.
Tom Adeyemi’s two years at Ipswich will have been as much of a nightmare for him as the last one has been for the rest of the club.
Arriving at Portman Road in the summer of 2017, Adeyemi hasn’t featured for The Tractor Boys since the October of that same year, due to a string of injuries that have restricted to him just five appearances for the club and an unthinkably long spell in the treatment room.
Now, finally it seems as though that personal nightmare is about to end, although whether he will get the chance to put an end to Ipswich’s own nightmare seems to be another issue altogether.
On his return to action for Ipswich’s Under 23 side on Monday night, Adeyemi found the net in a 4-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest.
Speaking after that match, Lambert revealed that though he had come through the action “OK”, he was in mood to rush Adeyemi back too soon, and admitted that he is unsure about the midfielder’s contract beyond the summer.
PL: “Tom Adeyemi came through the U23s OK. There’s no rush for me, his health is the most important thing. I don’t know what’s happening with him in the summer.”
— Ipswich Town FC (@IpswichTown) April 17, 2019
Adeyemi’s contract expires at Portman Road expires at the end of the season, although he does have an option of a further 12 months, and that may be a concern to Ipswich fans.
Many of a Tractor Boys persuasion will want to know if that uncertainty is due to the drop to League One, or simply because of the midfielder’s injury history.
Convincing players to stay or come to Portman Road will be a big challenge for Ipswich in the summer, so being able to, or at least having plans in place to work on keeping some of the long list of players whose deals are set to expire at the club will be a big reassurance to Ipswich fans, something the club may do well to make clear know – it is isn’t exactly as if they weren’t expecting this relegation.
Indeed if they can’t convince some of those top squad members to stay into next season, then Adeyemi could still have a part to play at Portman Road next season.
Adeyemi came to Ipswich after relegation to League One for previous club Rotherham saw him released by The Millers. It could now be that same drop in division that keeps his time at Ipswich going.