Paul Cook promised to be the demolition man at Portman Road this summer, and he’s already gone some way to splitting up the squad he’s spent two months with.
The Tractor Boys missed out on the League One play-offs by five points and that was because of a poor run of form where Ipswich simply couldn’t find the back of the net under Cook.
Ipswich lost five games under Cook and for six games in a row in April they were unable to score, a run which no doubt infuriated the manager behind closed doors.
It looks like a full rebuild is coming as experienced veterans Alan Judge and Stephen Ward’s departures were confirmed before the season had ended, whilst a further six players were released and has reportedly told the majority of his remaining squad to find new clubs.
One player he wants to keep is Gwion Edwards who has been offered a new contract, but there’s no guarantee that he signs it so alternatives will need to be looked at.
And a winger who has been linked to Ipswich in the last few weeks in the form of Owen Dale could be the perfect fit.
Quiz: Did these 18 players make more than 100 Ipswich Town appearances?
Dale plays for a team in Crewe Alexandra who not only finished just three points behind Ipswich, but are full of young, exciting talent that have attracted interest from the Championship – as proven when Perry Ng joined Cardiff City in January and Harry Pickering is heading to Blackburn.
After playing 27 times in League Two in the 2019/20 campaign without scoring, you’d be forgiven for questioning David Artell’s thought process of going into this season with Dale as his first-choice right-wing option.
The faith has been well-and-truly repaid though as Dale developed through the season and ended up with 11 goals in League One from 43 appearances, including a run of four goals in as many games in December which saw him named the league’s Player of the Month.
It’s testament to Crewe’s development that Dale has flourished this season and it was no surprise to see clubs linked to his signature as the campaign came to a close, with Sunderland, Preston North End and Blackburn also reportedly looking at the 22-year-old.
That may put Ipswich at the back of the queue to some, but they’re now owned by Americans who could very well back Cook in the transfer market to shape the squad how he pleases – and making a bid for Dale would be a decent start.