Ipswich have been linked with a move for former Portsmouth and Dagenham striker Oli Hawkins, as reported by the Portsmouth News.
The 26-year-old has recently been released by Pompey after struggling to break into their first team last season. He amassed just eight outings, without a goal, before finding himself surplus to requirements under Kenny Jackett. It was a disappointing follow-on from the season before, where his penalty clinched the EFL Trophy for Pompey at Wembley.
Ealing-born Hawkins worked his way through the non-league scene as a young player, appearing for the likes of North Greenford United, Hillingdon Borough, Northwood, Hemel Hempstead Town and Harrow Borough. That led him to the doorstep of Dagenham, for whom he appeared in the 2016/17 season, bagging 19 goals.
That alerted a host of clubs, with League One Pompey snatching him from the clutches of Lincoln City. Hawkins made 70 League One outings for Pompey in his first two seasons there, scoring 14 goals. Last season was a goalless one for the striker though, he appeared just 13 times in all competitions without joy.
Ipswich are yet to dip their toe into the transfer market, with fans beginning to get restless after a disappointing campaign last season saw them tumble out of contention before proceedings came to a close courtesy of Covid.
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This could be filed under ‘underwhelming’ for Ipswich fans, but they are likely to be feeling the pinch of the recent pandemic as much as anyone. Clubs with larger attendances will have larger commitments financially and with uncertainty around the current situation, Ipswich won’t be able to go out and buy who they want, nor pay their wages.
It’s no surprise that Sunderland, Charlton and Ipswich are being more cautious than the likes of Blackpool or Bristol Rovers, as financial uncertainty completely alters the landscape of football.
Hawkins is a decent striker at this level, but is he a top-six forward that Ipswich needs to settle the fans? In the right formation and utilised correctly, maybe.