Written by Will Neller
Ipswich's ongoing search for new wide midfielders has yeilded two more candidates. Both fit the bill as to what Town are looking for, but at the same time, both are completely different when compared to one another.
Let's start with the first wideman linked. Nottingham Forests, Barrie McKay. The 22 year old winger was signed by Forest from Rangers last summer for a nominal fee of £500,000 by Mark Warburton who had previously worked with the Scotsman at the Glaswegian club.
He fell out of favour with new manager Aitor Karanka following Warburton's sacking at the turn of the year, and now it appears Forest are more than willing to cash in following the influx of a number of Portuguese signings that look to have pushed the wideman further down the pecking order.
McKay brings every quality you could ever want from a winger. Pacey, Tricky, Skilful and only in his early 20's, McKay offers exactly what the Blues are looking for and in complete contrast to Jordan Roberts who signed yesterday, has a reasonable reputation already.
Forest fans don't appear to be too concerned by the potential sale. Many fans feeling he is too mercurial and has far too big an ego. Many others stating he goes missing on far too many occasions, but when he does he's quality.
The common perception is that under Warburton, McKay had acres of talent and potential. Whereas under Karanka, he was under-utilised and did not work hard enough in the new system in place.
Personally, I think I'm right in saying McKay will be more than welcome at Town. I remember that 2014/15 season when we had another pacey Scottish Winger in his early 20's playing wide Left, and he turned out alright didn't he?
Comparisons are bound to be drawn between Ryan Fraser and McKay if he does sign for us, and hopefully he can replicate the form Fraser showed during his loan at Town.
Moving on to the second of the two wingers. Shrewsbury's Alex Rodman has reportedly left the club on a free transfer and is now heavily rumoured to reunite with Paul Hurst at Town.
Rodman was a key cog in the Shrewsbury watch that kept on ticking against the odds, all the way through to the Playoffs. He scored double figures from Wide Midfield and even scored the goal that took the playoff final against Rotherham to extra time.
In contrast to McKay who spent his early career at Rangers, Rodman comes from a non-league/lower league background, as has become the trend with recent transfer links. And unlike McKay, who is in his early 20's, Rodman is in his 30's and does not possess the same raw pace that the Scotsman does.
One thing you have to credit Rodman with though, is his fitness and stamina. Shrewsbury fans praised his attitude and workrate and his ability to stay fit.
Considering Shrewsbury played more games than anyone in the English leagues, Rodman made 55 appearances and was an ever present in Shrewsburys season.
He possesses all the natural flair and trickery that a modern winger requires and his ability to cut inside onto his favoured right foot from the left flank could be a dangerous threat if utilised correctly.
It appears Town fans are less enamoured by this potential link. Many would prefer the younger and more prospective, McKay over the older and more experienced Rodman. Nonetheless, both players clearly bring what the Blues are looking for.
The ability to cross from wide areas, beat the man and chip in with the odd goal. It's only the 10 year age gap and experience at this level which poses the biggest hurdle.
In my opinion, I feel Town are better off pursuing McKay over Rodman. If Hurst is here for the long haul, then we need to plan for that eventuality. McKay has the potential to be moulded into a very talented footballer, whilst Rodman would come ready made as the player Hurst requires, he would only be here for 2 or 3 seasons at most. Hardly the dynasty we've been promised.
At the end of the day though, the right noises are being made, both players offer precisely what we are seeking and whichever one we potentially sign will be welcomed to the club with open arms!
I've not heard a single name uttered as a potential transfer that I've thought "absolutely not, don't want him at the club" which can only be a massive positive. Having said that, I'm now fully expecting Jay Tabb to come out of playing Rugby and pen a 2 year deal with us this Saturday...