It seems to be an all too familiar story with young players never reaching their expected potential.
Jaime Peters joined Ipswich in 2005 and before he left he was the clubs longest serving player. Many may be surprised to hear that in total he made 99 appearances for Ipswich. A lot of these appearances were from the bench so his appearances don’t really represent how much game time he actually had though.
When he was first linked the Tractor Boys it didn’t seem like we had much chance of signing him as both Chelsea and Manchester United showed an interest in the youngster. However, Peters chose to join Ipswich as he wanted to play as much first team football as he possible could to help him develop as a player.
The young Canadian was an instant fans favourite and has always been a very popular figure amongst the fans. He wasn’t popular just because he was exiting to watch but the fact that he turned down both Manchester United and Chelsea in order to get game time was very respectable.
He was still a teenager when he joined Ipswich and everyone was exited by the prospect of seeing Peters in a Town shirt. Being only 5ft 7in Peters had a distinctive style of play to compensate for his short stature. He used his height as an advantage and by having a low centre of gravity he was able to terrorise opposition defenders with quick tricks and turns. Without a doubt he was an exiting player to watch and although his game was far from complete he offered the team something they didn’t have.
After every season Ipswich hoped that Peters would develop and become a key player in the team. The potential was there but we never really saw much progression from him after each season.
He never commanded a place in the team and was never consistently good enough to become a key player. Both Magilton and Keane would often use Peters as an impact sub and this probably was the most useful role he could play at Championship level.
The real reason why Peters never developed into the player we all dreamed he could be was because he never had a complete game. His dribbling, agility and speed was at times amazing but he never perfected the art of crossing and being so small meant he struggled with the physical aspects of the game.
However, despite his downfalls every fan will have fond memories of Peters.
He always worked hard, always wanted to be in the first team and most importantly always cared about the club. The highlight of his Ipswich career came in the League Cup semi-final first leg against Arsenal where he performed so well at right back that Andrei Arshavin had to be subbed off as he couldn’t get anything past Peters.
He was a great servant to the club and a player who will always be welcome at Portman Road. In the modern game it is rare to find a player who is both loyal and just wants to play as much football as possible so we were lucky to have Peters at the club. It looks like Peters will drop down to League One but whoever he plays for next will have a great player with a great personality.