Ipswich Town Chase Vastly Experienced Defender

Ipswich have been linked with a move for the former Watford defender Craig Cathcart, according to journalist Darren Witcoop.

Cathcart has been with the Hornets since 2014, racking up 262 appearances during his time at Vicarage Road, over two separate spells. The Northern Irishman was ever present in Watford’s back line last season making 28 Championship appearances and wearing the captain’s armband on multiple occasions.

The 34-year-old has however not had his contract renewed with the club and is now a free agent. Multiple clubs have been linked with the ex-Premier League defender, including Championship newcomers Ipswich.

The Tractor Boys gained promotion to the second tier following their second place finish in League One last season. Off of the back of a remarkable season, where they scored a division high 101 goals as well as conceding a division low 47 goals, Ipswich will be looking to avoid the drop in the Championship and be competitive this season.

Adding experience is something that the club will certainly be looking to do this summer and the potential signing of Cathcart would do just that. They’ve already brought in highly-talented midfielder Jack Taylor from Peterborough this summer and manager Kieran McKenna will no doubt be looking to bring some more names through the doors at Portman road in the coming weeks.

Who is Craig Cathcart?

The Northern Irishman began his career with Premier League heavyweights Manchester United, having been scouted as a 16-year-old in Northern Ireland. Although never making an appearance for the Red Devils, Cathcart would gain experience with loan spells to Royal Antwerp, Plymouth Argyle and Watford. After impressing during those loan spells, the 34-year-old would join Blackpool, making 117 appearances for the Tangerines before arriving at Vicarage Road in 2014. During his two spells with their club, Cathcart has made 262 appearances, 153 of those coming in the Premier League on top of his 30 in the top flight with Blackpool. He is also incredibly experienced at an international level and has made 72 appearances for Northern Ireland and appearing in their Euro 2016 squad.

Why would he suit Ipswich?

With his vast wealth of experience, Cathcart could be an important asset to the majority of the teams in the Championship. However that experience would come in even more use for Championship newcomers Ipswich. The Tractor Boys have not appeared in the second tier since 2019 and will be looking to consolidate their position as a Championship club next season. Cathcart would no doubt be vocal in the dressing room, and will bring a certain prescience which might be currently missing at Portman Road.

Writer’s view

Cathcart’s best days may now be behind him, but he can still play at a high level. His experience would certainly come in handy as Ipswich look to survive in the Championship this season and he would play a big part in their back-line as well as their dressing room. Reading have also been linked with the Northern Ireland international, but a move to Ipswich could workout better for Cathcart, especially under McKenna who is proving himself as a bright, up-and-coming manager.

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