Having just finished ninth in Mick McCarthy’s first full season in charge of Ipswich Town, there was optimism that the Tractor Boys could improve further ahead of the 2014/15 season.
To do just that, the former Republic of Ireland boss would need to add to his side to get them challenging for the playoffs on a more consistent basis than the year prior.
It was exciting times at Portman Road, and they were enhanced when on July 31, 2014, the club announced the arrival of former Borussia Dortmund striker Balint Bajner.
— Ipswich Town FC (@Official_ITFC) July 31, 2014
Formally on-loan at West Ham four years earlier, he failed to make an appearance for the Hammers and would eventually find a way to the Bundesliga.
He made one appearance for the German giant’s first-team before a prolonged spell in their reserves before his release.
After a successful trial at the East Anglia outfit, he was snapped up on a two-year deal.
And it was much to the anticipation of several of the club’s supporters.
@Official_ITFC Haven't been this excited about a foreign striker since king Pablo's return
— Miles (@MilesKingst0n) July 31, 2014
— Simon Reynolds (@SimonReynoldsUK) July 31, 2014
Welcome to #ITFC Balint Bajner! Hopefully will be a fans favourite and push into the first team!
— Luke Friend (@Luke8644) July 31, 2014
Bajner is now my favourite player, hope he bags for fun.
— Bart (@Bartram1) July 31, 2014
It was a signing that was exotic and desirable for Ipswich at the time having finished ninth under an impressive new manager.
The fact it was from Dortmund it had that level of excitement and anticipation that it would be a move that would work out for all parties – but it would be anything but.
Bajner made his Ipswich debut on August 9, 2014, in the win over Fulham – and McCarthy admitted after the win, that the striker had found the Championship “tough” to play in.
He made seven appearances for the club between August and September then faded into the background never to be seen again.
It was a signing that was supported by the fans and one that was expected to succeed but having failed to score and failing to settle and adapt to life in the Championship, his time was up.
He was released on January 20, 2015, six months into a two-year deal at Portman Road.
It was a transfer that had so much potential surrounding it, but it failed to materialise with cultural and geographical complications affecting his time at the club.
Despite the initial reaction that was quietly confident of success from Bajner, it would turn out to be misled and naive thinking the Ipswich fans.