Tyreeq Bakinson has branded Ipswich Town a club “going in the right direction” with the Bristol City midfielder sealing a loan move to Portman Road until the end of the season.
Bakinson’s departure from City has been swift with Nigel Pearson lambasting the midfielder’s attitude just hours before the deal was confirmed, claiming the 23-year-old no longer wanted to be at the club and indicating the transfer was agreed on Wednesday night.
City had activated a 12-month option in Bakinson’s contract at the end of November, although at the time Pearson remarked that was as much about protecting assets as it was for sporting reasons.
Given Pearson’s criticism of the midfielder and with 12 months on his deal remaining when his loan expires, Bakinson’s 14-minute cameo against Fulham last Saturday may well his 53rd and final appeared in a Robins shirt since moving to the club from Luton Town, as a teenager, in 2017.
On signing for Ipswich, Bakinson said: “It’s a massive club which is going in the right direction, so I’m buzzing to be a part of it. Everyone at the club is very ambitious so it’s definitely something I’m very excited about.
“I’m a hard-working player who likes to get on the ball. I’m a box-to-box midfielder and hopefully I’ll get a goal or two. I want to play as many games as I can and help the team as much as possible.”
The move reunites him with former City CEO Mark Ashton, who was at Ashton Gate five years ago when Bakinson joined from the Hatters, and continues the migration of staff from the West Country to Suffolk.
However, not including former academy graduate Wes Burns, he is the first City player signed by Ipswich since Ashton arrived at Portman Road in June last year.
Ipswich lie 11th in League One, eight points outside the play-offs, having under-performed following a hectic summer of significant squad upheaval and Bakinson becomes their 22nd incoming transfer of the season.
“Tyreeq is a versatile midfielder who can play across the pitch and cover a number of positions. He offers us something different and is at an age where he has lots of years ahead to improve further,” said Ipswich head coach Kieran McKenna.
“We really like Tyreeq as a player. He’s young, hungry, athletic and technical. He is fit and has played plenty of games already this season, so it won’t take him long to get up to speed.
“He needs to meet the group and settle, but it shouldn’t be long before we see him in action.”
His time at City has been significantly soured by Pearson’s parting gesture, labelling the 23-year-old’s presence in the squad as “negative” and “energy-sapping”, an attitude which precipitated his transfer away.
Bakinson made 13 Championship appearances for City this season, 10 as a starter, and his exit does leave Pearson a little short in central midfield with Matty James, Andy King, Joe Williams and Han-Noah Massengo his only senior defensive midfield options.
Pearson did remark, however, in his press conference ahead of Saturday’s Severnside Derby against Cardiff City that he considers Alex Scott among his central midfielders and noted the 18-year-old is, “already a more accomplished player” than Bakinson.