Ipswich Town are facing a summer rebuild under Paul Cook as he aims to head into the 2021/22 season with a squad that can finally get the Tractor Boys out of League One.
Cook has already been ruthless in cutting down the squad within the decisions made on the futures of players who were out of contract this summer. That will have left room in the wage bill for them to improve key areas of the field that have to be addressed for them to mount a more consistent promotion challenge.
One position that has to be enhanced at Portman Road is upfront. The Tractor Boys lacked a goalscorer who could put them amongst the top-six this term. According to Football Insider Rangers’ experienced forward Jermaine Defoe is on their radar as the new owners prepare to back Cook in the transfer market.
It is being reported by Football Insider that they would be willing to offer him a potential big-money contract to make the switch to Portman Road this summer. Although other reports from TWTD have suggested that the Tractor Boys might struggle to get this move over the line.
With Ipswich in the running for Defoe this summer, we break down whether it would be the right potential signing and what he would offer the Tractor Boys…
Is it a good potential move?
On the face of it, a move for a 38-year-old forward might not seem the best way for Ipswich to approach their summer rebuild. However, this is no ordinary striker in the twilight of his career.
Defoe is a natural goalscorer and there is a reason why Rangers are reportedly keen to agree a new deal with him to keep him at Ibrox, even if it is thought that would have to be on reduced terms from his £30,000-a-week current deal.
The striker managed to register four goals in his 15 league appearances for Rangers this season, and that comes off the back of firing in 13 goals in 20 appearances in the 2019/20 campaign. That shows that he can still put the ball in the back of the net if he is offered the right sort of service.
He would certainly be able to add goals to the side but given the wages he is on at the moment at Rangers and his age, there would have to be concerns over whether this would be the best use of the Tractor Boys’ resources this summer.
Having said that, there have been occasions where experienced forwards have come into sides in the Championship and League One and helped to make a major difference in promotion campaigns.
The likes of Kevin Phillips spring to mind in terms of such previously successful signings. It would be a gamble, but this could be another one of those.
Can you name the Ipswich Town player who has been carded the most in each of the last 16 seasons?
Would he start?
Given Defoe is entering the final stages of his career it would be very difficult to imagine him coming into Ipswich and starting week in week out for them in a grueling 46-game season.
That means that Cook would have to manage his game time effectively and pinpoint which games are best for him to start in, and which ones would be better served with his potential to influence things from the bench.
Defoe has been used sparingly by Rangers this season, and you would certainly expect him to get more minutes with the Tractor Boys than he has at Ibrox. There will be times when his experience and goal-scoring instincts from the start of games would potentially by very valuable.
Equally, if you were a League One side with a tiring defence and were holding on to a lead or indeed a point against Ipswich next term, you would not want to see Defoe coming off the bench.
What does he offer?
The most obvious and simple thing that Defoe would offer Ipswich is goals. The striker is a born goalscorer and has found the net on a fairly regular basis at nearly all the clubs he has played for throughout his successful career.
However, there is more to this than just his goalscoring potential. Defoe is a major name within the game and for new ownership, it would be good to try and build their profile within the game by having a player like the 38-year-old on their books.
The forward is also an exciting player to have wearing the Tractor Boys’ colours. Yes, he is entering the latter part of his career, but still, there would be many supporters thrilled to see a player with so many Premier League goals and England caps lining up for them.