Ipswich Town fan Russell Claydon looks at one player who he believes is ‘worth it’

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IF JIMMY Bullard were to suddenly appear in a shampoo advert (given his curly locks it’s not an impossibility) he’d definitely have to market L’Oreal.

Quite simply, our cheeky chappy is definitely ‘worth it’.

In fact, if Paul Jewell revealed Bullard’s wages were the stumbling block for a permanent transfer, I’m sure more than a few Town fans wouldn’t mind rummaging around for lose change.

It sounds a ridiculous idea, but Bullard would surely be one of the only players in the Championship fans wouldn’t mind forking out £45 each to secure for another season. If 30,000 Tractor Boys did just that we’d cover 25,000-a-week wages for a year.

We all hope it doesn’t come to that, in this age of austerity and punishing ticket prices, but the point I am trying to make was painfully evident against Reading in Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat. Ipswich without Bullard (hamstring) dictating play and whipping in delicious balls just aren’t the same outfit.

We’re not a one-man team at present: there is the tricks of a reborn Lee Martin, the seemingly unlimited potential of Connor Wickham, the rock solid Gareth McAuley and sleek passing and hard running of messers Grant Leadbitter and David Norris, to mention a few pieces of this Ipswich jigsaw. But take the Bullard piece out and the ‘Va-Va Voom’ Theirry Henry spoke of in his TV ad has definitely left the pitch. With and without the midifelder it was almost Jekyl-and-Hyde stuff over the past week - having had a Bullard-sealed 2-0 win at promotion-chasing Cardiff City on Saturday (also indebted to the superb Marton Fulop) before Tuesday’s “flat” performance.

With Jewell having established an 11-point gap from the relegation zone in two months, yet with the Blues 14 points from a play-off place, surely next season must now be his agenda.

And top of that, which will include trying to Wickham and out-of-contract regulars such as Norris, McAuley, Delaney et al, should be a real drive to sign up infectious Bullard.

In terms of an overall package of fee and wages he wouldn’t come cheap, but since when has paying out a litte extra for L’Oreal let down those with Ian-Marshall-like perms?

Get Bullard back for the trip to Leeds’ Elland Road on Saturday, and visit of Watford on Tuesday, and there is no reason why we shouldn’t be guaranteed survival ahead of relegation-threatened Scunthorpe.

*FOLLOW @russclaydon on Twitter on Portman Road matchdays for team news and #itfc action