Aaron Cresswell is without a doubt Ipswich Town’s most valuable player. The former Tranmere man has just signed a new contract which ties him to the club until 2017, but he could well still leave in the summer if Ipswich do not secure promotion.
Of course it is great to see the Tractor Boys actively doing something to ensure that they do not lose their top players for nothing, especially as it is something they have failed to do in the past. It is painful to look back on some of the talent that the club has failed to secure and this news is a step towards Ipswich becoming a much more efficient football club.
Everyone can see that Cresswell is well worth securing too, the left back has scored twice and made eight assists so far this season. Additionally, he has only missed six games since arriving from Tranmere and he played every game last season which displays not only his consistency but also his resistance to injury.
However, without meaning to sound pessimistic I get the feeling that Cresswell’s contract extension is primarily about maintaining the players value for this summer. It seems likely that Ipswich have given Cresswell a wage hike but it is also likely that his new contract will have a clause of some sort to enable the left back to leave if the right offer comes in.
My guess would be that if Ipswich have not gained promotion to the Premier League by the end of this season then the young defender will be able to leave for a Premier League side if a certain value is met. I believe that the Tractor Boys will be able to demand a fee somewhere between £4 million and £5.5 million for their star player, if they are forced to sell.
Like I previously mentioned, despite these factors it is still great to see the club making moves to ensure their long-term success. If Cresswell did not sign a new contract then his value would probably have halved by the time any Premier League side made an offer.
In many ways Ipswich have put themselves in a win-win situation by wrapping up this contract arrangement. If the Suffolk side manage to claw their way back into the top flight they will not be forced to sell their best player. Alternatively, if they fail to win promotion this season then they will receive enough cash to make a major investment in the squad.
Personally I think signing Cresswell for £4 million would be a good deal for a Premier League side but it would not be a bargain by any means.
Mick McCarthy has done an amazing job at Ipswich with an almost non-existent transfer budget, I am sure that he would not waste any money given to him and would certainly find some great bargains. Whilst it is difficult to replace star players like Cresswell, I believe that Ipswich have put themselves in the best position possible going forward if they were forced to sell.