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Ladapo in: As things stand, is this Ipswich Town’s best XI as 22/23 season approaches?



League One side Ipswich Town will be hoping to push for promotion during the 2022/23 campaign following a reasonably disappointing season last term.

Although some of their below-par performances during the early stages of 2021/22 should have been expected, with Paul Cook understandably needing time to gel his new squad together after making 19 summer signings, the fact they didn’t finish in the top six was a real kick in the teeth for the Tractor Boys.

They must feel as though they have a good chance to redeem themselves over the next 12 months though considering the strength of their existing squad, even without further additions.

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Some of those that may have previously been tipped for promotion, including Derby County who are still in administration at this point, may not be as strong during 2022/23 as others may think and this could enable Kieran McKenna’s side to take themselves to the top of the table.

A full pre-season of football under the former Manchester United coach can only be beneficial for the Suffolk outfit’s squad – but looking less at the entire squad and more at the starting lineup – what is their best 11 at this stage?

We have made our picks in our quest to answer that question. But do you agree?

Christian Walton should remain in goal and with Vaclav Hladky being linked with a move away anyway, this is a reasonably easy choice. Getting Walton in permanently was a real coup – and they should benefit from having him in on a longer-term basis.

Although Matt Penney arguably has the better experience as a former Championship player – you just feel having new signing Greg Leigh on the left-hand side would help to freshen things up in defence and provide the Tractor Boys with something different going forward.

Because of this, the latter has to start with Wes Burns on the right, though Kyle Edwards could be a fantastic impact player at wing-back if needed, because the ex-West Brom man could provide an extra attacking threat late on in games.

Leaving Cameron Burgess out was difficult but George Edmundson could be a game-changer if he remains fit, with Luke Woolfenden another familiar face and Janoi Donacien starting as well.

You almost feel the latter could be a good option to have at right wing-back as well, getting forward well at times last season.

In midfield, there’s more second-tier experience with Sam Morsy and summer addition Dominic Ball. Both could arguably do a decent job in the division above, so having them in the third tier is an impressive achievement for McKenna’s side.

If they are to start though, they need a more attacking option in an advanced midfield role and although Sone Aluko could do a job, Conor Chaplin may be a better option for the long term. His contributions could be vital next season, both in terms of goals and assists.

And up front, Freddie Ladapo has to be included after seeing him score 15 competitive goals last term. Joe Pigott or Tyreece John-Jules could start alongside him, but the former hasn’t endured the most successful time at Portman Road and John-Jules may start on the bench, leaving Kayden Jackson as the other starting player. The latter has done well under McKenna.

A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Ladapo in: As things stand, is this Ipswich Town’s best XI as 22/23 season approaches?

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