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Ipswich Town can source ideal Sam Morsy upgrade from Coventry City: View

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Ipswich Town and Kieran McKenna are Premier League bound, but with that they are going to have to make upgrades to their squad.

They will want to do so as Premier League life can be tough if suitable upgrades are not made, as some players may not be able to handle the demands of the top flight.

One such player there might be doubts about is Sam Morsy, with the now 32-year-old midfielder being a player that could be replaced by a younger, Premier League-ready option, despite a hugely influential role in promotion from the Championship.

That could be someone like Ben Sheaf, who has impressed for Coventry City this season and could easily make the step-up to the Premier League if Ipswich do come calling.

 

Ben Sheaf is Premier League ready

Sheaf has been one of the standout performers not only for Coventry, but also in the entire Championship this season.

The 26-year-old has been the cog in the middle of the park for the Sky Blues as the club embarked on another attempt to reach the play-offs, as well as a run to the FA Cup semi-finals.

Throughout the appearances he has made across all competitions this season, he has finally proven why he was a graduate of Arsenal FC’s academy, and why so many fans, pundits and journalists have all been calling the Englishman “Premier League ready”.

Ben Sheaf’s Championship Stats 2023-24
Appearances 31
Average Minutes Per Game 84
Goals 3
Shots Per Game 1.5
Shots on Target Per Game 0.4
Touches Per Game 76.5
Assists 0
Key Passes Per Game 1.1
Accurate Passes Per Game 49.9
Total Duels Won Per Game 6.4
Stats Correct As Of May 4, 2024 – As Per Sofascore

The midfielder is versatile, too, having filled in on both the attacking and defensive sides of midfield, which in the modern game is perfect, as teams look to transition quickly between passing out from defence and launching forward an attack.

Ipswich need to make younger upgrades

As is natural for any promoted team (let alone one that’s gone from League One to the Premier League in two seasons), upgrades are wanted to give a team the best possible chance of staving off an instant relegation, and that will certainly be the case for McKenna and Ipswich.

One area that McKenna will perhaps target replacements or upgrades for is in defensive midfield.

In his 4-2-3-1 set-up, the Northern Irishman currently deploys Morsy alongside Massimo Luongo, and while he has featured in a strong team that has achieved Premier League promotion, it can be argued that the Egyptian is perhaps in-need of an upgrade.

It has to be said that both Luongo and Morsy are over the age of 30. The latter is nearing 33 years of age, so there will be a want for a younger midfielder that can be utilised for years to come, as well as someone who has the ability and discipline to compete in the Premier League next season.

Sheaf, as well as any other midfield targets that come up over this transfer window, would help with that. McKenna has seemingly recognised this as, as revealed by Alan Nixon via his Patreon, he is interested in signing the Coventry star to help bolster his squad, with one eye perhaps on bringing the age of the squad down, too. Sheaf is 26 now, and if the ambition is to stop relying on the experienced duo of Luongo and Morsy, who won’t be around forever, now is the time to strike as a Premier League club once more.

Should Kieran McKenna make changes?

It is totally understandable that McKenna will want to freshen up his midfield, despite the fact that there is an argument that Morsy, as well as his midfield partner Luongo, have proven they can be midfield mainstays in the Ipswich team, even with a change in division.

The two combined have made 85 appearances combined, with Luongo appearing 43 times and Morsy 42 times in a hugely impressive season; you’d be stupid to completely write the pair off stepping up another level given what they’ve just done. Both of these appearance figures trump those made by Sheaf, who, as in the table above, made only 31 appearances in the Championship and picked up a couple of injuries. Yet, he’s still featured in a large chunk of games this campaign and can be reliable.

The Ipswich pair’s on-paper stats read similarly to Sheaf’s, too. Luongo has not scored this season but has provided three assists. Meanwhile, Morsy has also out-assisted Sheaf and scored the same number of goals as him, perhaps showing that there is the same amount of quality that is being searched for already in the team.

Diving deeper, and using Sofascore’s comparison tool, it is clear to see, however, that while Morsy may have produced a better performance in some areas, his age is perhaps beginning to show in his contributions elsewhere on the field.

Sheaf contributed more tackles and interceptions per game than Morsy, and overall, comes across as a much more dependable player defensively, which will be crucial for McKenna and Ipswich in the tough landscape of the Premier League.

Unsurprisingly, he also picked up fewer yellow cards and committed fewer fouls than Morsy across this Championship season, showing that despite his much younger age, he is experienced and can stay calm in games. This will, again, be crucial for McKenna and shows that it may be wise not to rely on a midfielder the wrong side of 30 for too much longer, particularly in the ultra-competitive field that is the Premier League.

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