The Ipswich trio could progress to the Premier League

Back-to-back promotions saw Ipswich Town return to the Premier League after 22 seasons without top-flight football.

Kieran McKenna has been the driving force behind the Tractor Boys’ success, but who are the players fans should watch out for this season?

Adrian Clarke gives a run-down on Ipswich’s most dangerous players.

Leif Davis

The rampaging left-back has Premier League quality inside the opposition half.

Full of energy, the 24-year-old flies up and down the flank and delivers high-quality crosses into the penalty area.

Davies averaged eight crosses per match in last season’s Championship.

Be it a dead-ball situation or a cross from open play, his left foot is a huge asset for the Tractor Boys.

No player had more key passes or assists than Davis last season.

Championship 2023/24 Best Creators
player Major Passes helps helps
Leif Davis 125 Leif Davis 18
Row Thomas 123 Georginio Rutter 15
Gabriel Sarah 119 Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall 14
Crisencio Summerville 112 Adam Armstrong 13
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall 109 Abdul Fatah 13

In a defensive position, Davies thrived in the tackle, making 53 challenges for the dribblers throughout 2023/24. Fbref.

His determination stands out, but this aspect of the game is not his strongest case.

What shines brightly is what he does in possession, confidently carrying the ball into advanced areas before delivering accurate crosses.

Davies created 21 chances from the ball – including six assists – during the 2023/24 season, so top-flight opponents will need to cover his space.

His link-up play with Conor Chaplin was a feature of Ipswich’s tactical makeup during a brilliant promotional campaign. Davies set up seven goals for the attacking midfielder, the most successful combination in the division.

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Davies is an integral part of McKenna’s starting XI and, at 24, is coming into the prime of his career.

Sam Walrusi
Walruses alone

In his 16th season as a professional footballer, Ipswich captain Morsi finally made his Premier League debut in 2024/25.

The Egypt international has been a revelation in his three-year spell at Portman Road, making significant strides under McKenna’s guidance.

Constantly dictating matches with his tenacity, drive and control, Morsi is a leader who has been the heartbeat of the team’s success.

He was named the club’s player of the year in April, marking a season that featured many outstanding displays from his teammates. Since then, Morsy has also been voted the PFA Championship Fans’ Player of the Year.

This upcoming campaign is sure to shake some cages with the 32-year-old’s strong style.

He won the second-highest number of tackles in last season’s Championship, but committed more fouls, resulting in 14 yellow cards.

Most tackles in the Championship 2023/24
player Most tackles won
Troy Hume (Sunderland) 97
Sam Walrus (Ipswich) 80
Jamilu Collins (Cardiff) 76
Jack Stacey (Norwich) 75
Perry NG (Cardiff) 75

What distinguishes Morsi from most „enforcers” is the quality of his tenure, which has gone from strength to strength since McKenna took over.

He keeps the ball well and always tries to move it forward. The stats below show just how much progress he has made – something that will be crucial to Ipswich’s long-awaited Premier League return.

Morsi in 2023/24
Statistics Total Championship standings
Goes to the final third 286 6th
Progressive passes 282 7th
through the balls 16 6th
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Wes Burns
Wes Burns

Counter-pressing is a big part of Ipswich’s tactical approach and the hard-working wide man excels in that department.

Busy and tenacious on the right, Burns was adept at helping Ipswich regain possession inside the opposition’s half. Much of their offense last season stemmed from the turnovers he forced.

The former Fleetwood Town player also has a penchant for talent. His sensational finish with the outside of his boot against Coventry City was voted Goal of the Season at the EFL Awards night.

Burns was no better at scoring or providing assists, making six and four respectively in 2023/24. His value to the team often prompts early breakdowns that are completed by teammates.

On the back of two successive promotions, the prospect of experiencing Premier League football for the first time will excite him, not dazzle him. This means that rival left-backs will have to prepare themselves for plenty of direct runs from the winger.

Last season (11th in the Championship) Burns made 23 key passes in open play and averaged two shot assists per 90 minutes. Only eight Championship players delivered more successful crosses into the penalty area as well.

He may not be one of Ipswich’s most glamorous names, but McKenna knows he can count on Burns.

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