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Ipswich Town column: Why Kayden Jackson is the best man for the role



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Return of the Mack, or in this case, Kayden Jackson. Town's £1.6m man shone as The Tractor Boys eased themselves to a 3-0 victory over Burton Albion on Saturday in a performance which left many fans including myself, eating a slice of humble pie regarding Ipswich Town’s number 19.

Now I don’t think it would be unfair to say we haven’t seen the absolute best of Kayden in a Town shirt since his arrival from Accrington Stanley in the summer of 2018, but Saturday afternoon's man of the match display has got me thinking that Kieran McKenna and in particular this system, could see him thrive.

We were all made aware of his lightning pace and ability to be able to get in-behind and stretch defences when we signed him, something we haven’t seen often enough. But the way Town set up at the moment, gives him the perfect chance to do just that and here’s why…

Kayden Jackson was man of the match in Town's weekend fixture.
Kayden Jackson was man of the match in Town's weekend fixture.

Kieran McKenna has made no secret of his desire to continually change the personnel of his team for different games, but often remaining with the same formation and structure. This suits Jackson well, as he doesn’t have to come deep and play one touch with his back to goal, something which isn’t his strength.

But Kayden has always been a good runner off the ball and is someone who times his run well, meaning in this system he can just focus on being a threat towards the opposition backline, keeping them stretched and therefore allowing your Bersant Celina, Sone Aluko and Conor Chaplin types to be able to play in-between the lines and become the creative spark.

A lot has been said about Macauley Bonne, Joe Pigott and even James Norwood when asked to play this system and in my opinion Kayden Jackson is so far, the best to do it.

Columnist Joey Sadler says Kayden Jackson could finally be living up to his £1.6m price tag
Columnist Joey Sadler says Kayden Jackson could finally be living up to his £1.6m price tag

Macauley will win you headers and run the channels but not have that speed to get in-behind as well as having a tendency to find himself offside. Joe Pigott, who I thought did OK on Saturday is of a similar mould, someone who can hold it up and lay it off, but not offer you an outlet from deep. I would say my old mate James Norwood could probably do this role, but perhaps his franticness is what is edging McKenna more towards Jackson.

I couldn’t have been more pleased as I and 20,000 other Town fans gave Kayden Jackson a standing ovation on Saturday as he left the pitch. With a player who is hungry, has a point to prove and playing in a system which suits him down to a tee, we could have a very promising proposition on our hands.

The main man turns 28 ( on the 22nd Feb) so Happy Birthday Kayden and I seriously hope another goal under the Portman Road lights is gift wrapped for you against Cheltenham.

Joey Sadler