Ipswich have had a less than ideal start to their new season, with a draw and a loss from their first two competitive matches.
The Tractor Boys were held to a 2-2 draw by Morecambe on the opening day of the League One campaign, twice going behind in the match. They then bowed out of the Carabao Cup with a 1-0 defeat at home to Newport County, with a trip to Burton Albion now on the horizon for Paul Cook’s side.
Although Ipswich scored twice against Morecambe, a couple of the players in Cook’s attacking line-up failed to make their mark. Wes Burns (6.4) and Joe Pigott (6.5) registered unimpressive WhoScored ratings and were not directly involved in either of the goals, and that could tempt the Blues boss into a change for this weekend’s match.
The former Wigan manager should unleash Louie Barry for his League One debut for the club, having been an unused substitute against Morecambe. He is a versatile forward who is capable of operating on either flank and down the middle, which means that Cook could bring him in for Pigott or Burns, depending on which role he believes is best for Barry, as the pair were unable to stamp their authority against Morecambe.
Former England international and Ipswich academy product Darren Bent has backed Barry to score ‘many goals’ for the Blues. He told Football Insider: “He can go and show what he can do, get some first-team experience. It’s just a perfect move to go and show Dean Smith what he is capable of.
“So it makes sense to go out on loan to League One and prove yourself. He can get himself into the first-team next season.
“Barry needs to focus, work hard, train hard. I’m sure if he does all that then he will score many goals.”
Bent clearly feels there is a talented player in Barry and the Ipswich boss seemingly agrees. Cook called the 18-year-old an ‘exciting‘ player upon his arrival from Aston Villa on loan and his unpredictability could hold the key for Ipswich.
Given Barry’s inexperience at first-team level, Burton may not know what to expect from him, and that could give him the element of surprise in the game, potentially allowing him to flourish. He scored 19 goals in 25 youth team appearances for Villa last term, but it is now down to him to turn up against Burton and prove that he can do it at senior level.
If he can come good and surprise the opposition, he could be a real game-changer for Ipswich. The teenager could come in and contribute with a goal from out wide or through the middle and help the Tractor Boys get their first win of the season. Worth the gamble? We think so.