Written by Harry Mallett
Town's star man Martyn Waghorn is again linked with a move away, this time to Middlesborough.
Waghorn, 28, who moved down to Suffolk last season for a bargain fee of just £200,000 from Rangers, made 44 appearances for the Blues last season netting 16 times as well as getting 11 assists.
Martyn was involved in more goals than any other player in the Championship last season, making him quite the asset. He has quickly become a fans favourite amongst town fans, replacing the void Daryl Murphy left, as the presence upfront alongside, forward Joe Garner also signed last summer from Rangers.
His performances last season in a team niggled with injuries, was always going to attract interest of other Championship clubs to the annoyance of Ipswich fans. With Waghorn also being brought up in South Shields, a move to Middlesborough may be more favourable over a move Forest.
With Waghorn being such an influential player at town taking the corners, free kicks and penalties as well scoring and creating more goals than any other player in the championship, he is likely to be Hurst’s first choice striker.
Possibly in his favoured 4-1-4-1 system, as despite being just 5ft 10, Waghorn is a player who can hold up the ball well and lead the line, in the lone striker role well as shown in the back end of last season when garner was out injured.
It may just be too difficult to replace a player of his ability and his character within the group, town are unlikely to find a replacement of his quality for the money received, and in my opinion should keep hold of Waghorn at all costs.
However if the players head is turned by a move back to the north east, then the fee will have to be a significant one of above £5 million.
Would any club pay above £10 million in today’s market for Waghorn, I’m not sure. And I can’t see Marcus Evans turning down an offer of £10+million. However this would leave Ipswich with just Garner and Sears as their only senior strikers at the club and a lack of goals needed for any push of possible play offs.
If in the worst case and Waghorn was to leave, Hurst would have to be given finds to replace him, otherwise we could be in for a season similar to 2016/17, when Murphy was not replaced adequately on deadline line by, you know who.