Ipswich Town are facing a huge summer transfer window that will determine the direction the club are heading in during the next few years under Paul Cook.
Cook could not have been any clearer over his desire to see a lot of changes being made to the squad throughout the summer transfer window. Following Saturday’s goalless bore-fest against AFC Wimbledon, he was once again harsh and very honest within his criticism of the players.
There seems to be very little way back for a lot of the current squad. When you are being publicly criticised by your manager on a repeated basis, it is very difficult for that situation to be recovered.
It does therefore seem like the Tractor Boys could be set to say goodbye to a host of players from their squad who Cook deems have been underperforming.
In many ways, Ipswich’s summer window is shaping up like the first transfer window Cook had during his time in charge of Wigan Athletic. In the summer of 2017, the Latics were fresh from their relegation to League One and got rid of around 20 players from their first-team squad. Some of those were sold like Nathan Byrne, but many were released.
Ipswich Town quiz: Does Portman Road have a higher or lower capacity than these 18 grounds?
It was a major rebuilding job to lose that many players, but Cook did it very well indeed. He managed to secure sensible loan signings of the likes of Ivan Toney, Callum Elder, Christian Walton and Lee Evans in both the summer and January windows. All those four players played a crucial role in helping the club secure the League One title that campaign.
In terms of permanent arrivals, Cook brought in a host of new faces and some of those proved to be very successful additions. The likes of Gavin Massey, Alex Bruce, Gary Roberts and Chey Dunkley all played huge parts in the Latics winning promotion. That shows that the current Ipswich boss was able to oversee wholesale changes to a squad and still guide them to success on the field.
Ipswich’s hopes of securing promotion back to the Championship rest on him doing a similar sort of successful rebuilding job this summer.
Cook can identify the right sort of players and knows what sort of qualities are needed to get out of League One. The Tractor Boys, therefore, have to give him all the backing they can to try and make that happen.