Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday should look to hijack Oxford United, Ipswich Town deal

With a Premier League season on the horizon for Ipswich Town, Ali Al-Hamadi looks unlikely to feature for the Tractor Boys upon their return to the top tier.

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The Iraq international joined the club in the most-recent January transfer window, and scored four goals in 14 appearances to help the Suffolk side earn automatic promotion from the Championship.

Only one of those appearances came from the first whistle though, with Kieran McKenna having ample forward options to choose from throughout the campaign, and the former AFC Wimbledon man seemed to be near the bottom of the pecking order.

With that in mind, Championship new boys Oxford United are said to be linked with a loan move for the striker this summer as they prepare for life in the second tier, but their divisional rivals should be looking to scupper any deal the U’s are preparing.

Ali Al-Hamadi can add plenty of dynamism to rebuilt Derby County front line

Derby County could benefit from a player of Al-Hamadi’s credentials in their attacking lineup next season, with the pair sure to be on the hunt for outstanding talent to put the ball in the back of the net ahead of the next campaign.

Paul Warne has already waved goodbye to a number of older heads in the Rams’ dressing room ahead of the next campaign, with wily performers Martyn Waghorn and Dwight Gayle both leaving the club upon the expiration of their contracts.

James Collins is also said to be in talks with the club about a new deal, but if things remain the way they are, the former Cardiff City man will follow his fellow strikers out the door, leaving County with vacancies in the final third ahead of the next campaign.

Although he wasn’t given much game time by Ipswich, Al-Hamadi clearly has the quality to add something to the Rams’ side if he was given the opportunity, with his return of 23 goals in 42 games for the Dons in League Two proof of his clinical nature in front of goal.

The 22-year-old offers a lot more than just goals though, with his tenacity and work rate creating many chances on his own when ploughing a furrow in the final third, as well as his ability to bring his teammates into play with his strength in possession.

The departure of the likes of Waghorn and Gayle pave the way for Warne to focus on bringing younger players into the club this summer, with the rigours of a Championship season likely to big performances from younger, athletic individuals, something that the Rams lacked last season.

Ali Al-Hamadi – 2023/24 league goals and appearances (per


Appearances (Starts)

Goals (Assists)

AFC Wimbledon

23 (22)

13 (6)

Ipswich Town

14 (1)

4 (0)

County had the oldest average age of any League One squad in the previous campaign, and although the likes of Conor Hourihane and his aged accomplices worked their magic in the third tier, the step up to the Championship would be hard to muster with a number of older heads in the camp.

Danny Röhl could utilise Ali Al-Hamadi in new-look Sheffield Wednesday side

This summer looks to be one of transition at Sheffield Wednesday, with Danny Röhl set to put his own stamp on the side after keeping them in the division in the previous campaign.

The German tied down his long-term future to the club last month, and looks set to transform the squad that he helped stay in the second tier, with a number of departures already confirmed from the club.

Josh Windass also looks set to leave the club this summer, with the forward reportedly rejecting a new contract with the club, with Coventry City and Hull City set to be chasing the 30-year-old’s signature this summer.

Röhl [pictured] implemented a style of play that could suit Al-Hamadi if they were to make a move for the Iraqi, with a high-energy game plan with and without the ball working wonders in their attempts to stay in the division last season.

Danny Röhl

The burly forward loves nothing more than a tussle with defenders, and putting himself around the pitch in the aim of winning back possession, and earning the opportunity to put the ball in the back of the net.

The Owls are said to be chasing a deal to bring loan star Ike Ugbo back to the club this summer, according to the Sheffield Star, and with two bustling frontmen on their books Röhl could create a Wednesday side that many Championship sides would fear next season.

While the U’s seem to have stolen a march in terms of any deal for Al-Hamadi, the loftier ambitions of County and Wednesday heading into next season could help turn his head this summer, and whoever gets their hands on him will have a striker ready to bang in the goals once again.

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