Why less could be more come January transfer window
As we head towards the January transfer window, the time where most sides strengthen the squad, perhaps Town could become a stronger unit without actually signing a player.
Town currently have a squad of 26 players, that doesn’t include youngsters Harry Wright, Bailey Clements, Tristan Nydam, Corrie Ndaba, Idris El Mizouni and Armando Dobra.
On numerous occasions Lambert has said about squad rotation and the campaign being a marathon not a sprint. We believe there is now a clear cut of who Paul Lambert actually trusts to guide the Town to promotion.
So with that in mind, perhaps offloading some players to get minutes elsewhere as Town look for a more settled side going into the second half of the season might be a blessing in disguise.
We take a look at what players could be on the move out of the door at Portman Road in January and what the future holds for each of them.
Myles Kenlock started the season as Paul Lambert’s first choice left back. Kenlock made 19 appearances last season, 18 of them under current boss Paul Lambert, signed a new three year deal in July. However, since the goalless draw at home to Doncaster Rovers the previously ever present full-back has not been seen in a league squad since. His omission from the team has seen Town favour a 3-5-2 system with Luke Garbutt and even Gwion Edwards preferred in the role. Kenlock has feature in both of Towns Leasing.com victories over Spurs and Gillingham, but his full from grace has been rather unpredictable sudden.
Verdict – January loan move to get some minutes
Andre Dozzell is another Town academy prospect who is struggling to make the grade in League One. With there being no doubting of the ability Dozzell possesses he seems to be unable to dictate the game at a lower level. So far this term he has made three starts for Town in the league, making way in the 60th minute (when losing at home to AFC Wimbledon), just past the hour mark in our away win at Gillingham and then hooked at half time at Accrington Stanley (2-0 down at the time). With his contract now entering the final six months (Town do have an option to extend by a year) I struggle to see what future Dozzell has in a Town shirt.
Verdict – January loan move in last ditch attempt to prove his potential
The young guns
Idris El Mizouni and Armando Dobra (red card aside) have shone in the Leasing.com matches and have proved in other cameos at different stages they have what it takes to make the cut at Town. However, in a gruelling League One campaign the change to grab minutes will be getting slimmer by the game, particularly after the return of Freddie Sears and Jack Lankester. Depending on how Lambert predicts the Leasing.com will go, a loan move for both of them with Town keeping a very close eye on them could benefit all parties.
As well as El Mizouni and Dobra, Lambert might also look to send out Bailey Clements, Corrie Ndaba and Harry Wright to get some first team experience. All have been around the first team scene and were all involved in Germany for pre-season.
Jordan Roberts, Janoi Donacien and Barry Cotter
The trio of Roberts, Donacien and Cotter appear to all be on their way out of the door at Portman Road. Roberts (out of contract this summer) has impressed in the Leasing.com trophy, scoring goals, but even that hasn’t even forced his way onto the bench where at times hasn’t even had a striker on this season. Donacien (contracted until 2021), like Kenlock started the season as first choice full-back, but has not been involved in the starting eleven (for a league game) since AFC Wimbledon visiting Portman Road in August with Gwion Edwards often preferred as deputy to first choice Kane Vincent-Young. Barry Cotter this week extended his spell at Chelmsford City, after a promising debut, famously Mick’s last game, his Town career is over.
Verdict – Move on in January / release in the summer
Danny Rowe and Gwion Edwards
Both wingers are out of contract this summer and while both could have the extra year activated by the club, they could look to secure a longer term deal elsewhere. Edwards is likely to get a new deal having proved to be one of Towns better performers last time out in The Championship but has yet to sign a contract extension. Rowe started the season as the forgotten man after loan spells away from Town at Lincoln City, it appeared his future in a Town shirt was over. However, he has chalked up eleven league appearances so far and would appear to be heading towards a new deal. But, with the return to fitness of Lankester and Sears, and with Judge and Georgiou also waiting in the wings it will be interesting to see if any contracts are handed out just yet!
Verdict – Offer new terms