Football

Oh, how we miss Giovani dos Santos and Jack Colback

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I have never been the biggest fan of the loan market in football based, in principle, upon the fact that at the end of the day you have to give the player back.

Don't get me wrong, a team can unearth some real gems, and Ipswich Town have done that very well in recent times. But it can backfire.

As a Blues fan, I had the ultimate honour of seeing Giovani dos Santos pull on a Town shirt, and what he did in his time with the club, was magnificent.

His début came against Reading at the Madejski Stadium, and I would be confident in suggesting that the number of people who turned out that day, was significantly swelled simply because of that young man.

We had all seen him strutting his stuff at the Nou Camp for Barcelona, not more than a year before. He was considered the next big thing – the young player you would sign on the PlayStation or XBox, because you just knew he would develop into a world star.

Of course, when he completed his move to Tottenham Hotspur that summer, it seemed of great surprise. For whilst Spurs are a big and great club, the fact of the matter was that it always looked to be a catastrophic step down.

Needless to say, he was quickly branded a White Hart Lane flop, by all corners of the media when his first season did not quite go to plan. However, his time at Portman Road saw him write his name into Ipswich Town folklore, and become one of the club's favourites.

This may sound a bit of an over-reaction for a loan player who only played eight games for the club – but it is a fact, and the fallout from it all still goes on today. Why, I hear you ask, is that so then?

Well, during that eight game stay 'Gio', as he was affectionately known on the terraces, scored four goals – all of which came at seemingly crucial times.

His winning penalty in the East Anglian derby against Norwich City is without doubt the main reason he will always be loved by Ipswich fans – but there were other crucial moments. His late equalisers against Bristol City and Burnley, as well as an emotional goal to help Ipswich beat Coventry on the last day of the season will always be remembered fondly.

The hard bit comes when you have to return the borrowed goods. Indeed, that is where the loan system disappoints me – but like a good book you borrow from the library, giving it back is inevitable.

Giving back Jack Colback at the end of last season was another difficult thing. Town fans will look at his lack of games with Sunderland this campaign and wonder what the point in giving him back was.

Town have been linked with bringing Colback back on another loan deal, but I think that is probably the same hopeless over-optimism that drove many supporters mad after Gio went back to Tottenham.

Andros Townsend is the latest loan star to be shining brightly for the Blues. His dazzling pace and crossing ability make him a very popular player among the Blues faithful – but you just cannot get too excited. He's not ours.

This week, Jake Livermore signed a loan deal at Portman Road – a wise move by Roy Keane. He is a talented midfield player who has the ability to make a big impact for us.

With David Norris currently on four bookings, having that extra bit of depth in the centre of midfield can only be good for the club. I do hope he can make an impact, and I really believe that between now and January, he really can make a true contribution to our goal tally.

He finds himself having to fight for a place in a team that is doing very well right now, and any player will tell you, that is when they perform best.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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Topics:
Ipswich Town
Football
Championship
Jake Livermore

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