Is This Guy The Real Deal?

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He is 6ft 4 inches and is the same height as another Ipswich defender who rose to fame in the mid-seventies. I am referring to Terry Butcher who I saw make his Town debut against Everton in what was then a First Division fixture on the 15th of April 1978. Elkan William Tio Baggott is just 19 years of age – when Butcher made his debut for the Blues but apart from their identical heights, and their central defensive capabilities, what else might they have in common? Answer. It’s the South East Asia connection!

Butcher was born in Singapore and Baggott in Thailand. Elkan’s father is English and his mother is Indonesian, and I can’t help thinking he backed the wrong horse by not representing the country of his birth. More to the point, historically Thailand has been much more successful on the world stage – although neither nation has qualified as yet, for a World Cup final competition.  Thailand have beaten Indonesia repeatedly, and in their most recent encounters, Thailand have won four and drawn two. His mother must be a very persuasive woman, and we know who wears the trousers in his house!

Back to Baggott, and he has just signed a contract extension. The defender was due to enter the final 12 months of his contract with the club but has just signed an extended deal, which will see him in Ipswich colours until at least 2025, with the option to extend his stay by a further 12 months! That’s good news because there have been a few big fish sniffing around recently, so this deal should ease everyone’s immediate concerns.

He made his debut for Town at Rotherham last April and featured again on the last day of the season against Charlton at Portman Road. Competition for places at Ipswich might mean that he plays most of his football next season away from Suffolk. Manager Keiran McKenna says it’s all part of the learning curve, and the young defender seems comfortable with that. He remarked, “My aim for next season is to play as much football as possible – whether that’s here – or if the right loan opportunity comes up.” Let’s hope he can find a club that will make him an integral part of their defensive set-up because, for a player of his quality, bench-warming duties, quite simply, should not apply!

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  • Barry Girling says:

    Hi Frank as we have potentially an embarrasment of riches in the way of defenders is there any merit in playing Luke Wolfenden in central midfield alongside Mr Morsy assuming of course that he is still here.Luke should be well capable of defending and in addition bringing the ball forward.This may be a money saving excercise and make room for a promising yougster – as we seem to have some ! Kicking my heels as I and no doubt many others await news of new signings.- exciting times. ATB

    • Frank Weston says:

      Thanks, Barry, and concerning your observations about Woolfy, there is some credence to the belief that Ipswich are currently overwhelmed with good defenders. I think Luke Woolfenden is a player who possesses serious technical ability and we have seen that he can carry the ball a long way with consummate ease. Therefore, Elkan Baggott is probably a bench-warmer here.

  • Keith Isaacs says:

    There’s no chance of any coach playing Wolfenden in a midfield role. He’s been outstanding since McKenna arrived why change it round pegs in round holes as they say. If he did play in midfield he just wouldn’t have the time and room. Might happen in a pub team but not at professional level absolutely ridiculous idea. Yes i agree Baggott looks a good prospect although he did struggle went it got a bit physical in the penalty area against Charlton. He needs to beef up a bit and maybe a season on loan might help. The loan didn’t do young Ndaba any harm by all accounts was very impressive at Salford and maybe he just ahead of Baggott in the pecking order.

    • Frank Weston says:

      In the main, I agree with you, Keith. I do not see Woolfenden as a midfielder, and I do think Baggott needs more time away from Portman Road. We need strength in depth if we are to escape from this league, and people like Baggott will eventually help our cause.

  • Barry Girling says:

    Come on Keith, subtlety is obviously not your strong point, you can do so much better than this,even if you do not agree.

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