Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook has said he is ‘delighted’ with his business in the transfer window so far, with the Tractor Boys undergoing a major summer rebuild with the Liverpudlian ahead of the 2021/22 League One.
Cook guided his side to a 9th-place finish last term – but was vocally unhappy about his squad back then and has used this summer to take decisive action at Portman Road, with this process starting way back in May.
Senior pros Luke Chambers, Cole Skuse, Freddie Sears, Alan Judge, Stephen Ward, Emyr Huws, Tristan Nydam and James Wilson all departed in the middle of that month having been released by the club.
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Gwion Edwards also moved on after failing to agree a new deal with the Suffolk side, with David Cornell having his contract terminated by the club, Andre Dozzell joining QPR and Jack Lankester, Aaron Drinan and Oli Hawkins joining the long list of players later on last month.
This is no real surprise though, with Ipswich’s owner saying they will end up keeping just 10% of their squad from last season – and now that signings are now finally starting to come in – preparations for the 2021/22 season are firmly underway.
With all this change at the club, manager Cook who looks to be at the head of their recruitment strategy this summer, took time out to reassure fans and comment on the business that has already been done.
Speaking in an interview with iFollow Ipswich, he said: “There may have been some concerns from the supporters following the drastic action at the end of last season, but we are starting to build a new team and that can be a slow process.
“We’re looking to bring quality into the Club and I am really delighted with what we have done so far. We were in a difficult position with where we finished last season, so naturally there was unhappiness around the Club.
“Going forward, though, I think the supporters will be pleased to hear that we are going through every detail in terms of recruitment.
“To make a good team you need a mix of experience, youth, energy, goals – there are a lot of factors. We’ve had meetings with the board and Mark Ashton [CEO] and we are aligned in what we want to do.
“Everyone wants the best for the Club and we’re working on what is required to take us forward.”
Considering Ipswich Town were a steady side in the Championship not so long ago under Mick McCarthy, it’s no wonder Cook was seething with his players at the back end of last season and if they want to push for a place in the second tier next season, this rebuild is much-needed.
Does it need to be so drastic? Well, the manager will know the club better than most people, but there are still likely to be more departures on the way with several players including Flynn Downes currently training with the Tractor Boys’ youth team.
However, the recent arrivals of Matt Penney, Rekeem Harper, Vaclav Hladky and the loan addition of Macauley Bonne will help to ease supporters’ nerves with pre-season training starting for many sides across the country.
There are plenty more signings to be made though – and Ipswich shouldn’t be expecting to make a fast start next season if signings continue to come in just before the start of the next campaign.