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Forward is key for promotion contenders Ipswich

Playmaker's EFL 72: #28 Conor Chaplin

2024/04/29 18:35

All guns have been blazing in Playmaker's countdown of the EFL's best performers of the season - and we are now reaching the real cream of the crop.   

It's certainly been no easy task, but - just to clarify - our '72' is less a roll call of the best footballers in the EFL and more a tribute to those players who have enjoyed the most memorable seasons while racking up the most impressive stats.

Whatever the criteria, we're confident in our selections of the most outstanding players through the Championship, League One, and League Two and welcome any debate on the subject!

Our next entrant may have fallen 25 positions from last season, but we're fairly sure Conor Chaplin won't give a hoot if Ipswich Town secure promotion from the Championship this season. 

Number #28: Conor Chaplin (Ipswich Town)

After making the podium in the last edition of the Playmaker 72, Ipswich livewire Conor Chaplin charts at a very respectable 28 this time around as the Tractor Boys target sensational back-to-back promotions. 

The East Anglians' top scorer last season with 26 goals, Chaplin is currently tied with team-mate Nathan Broadhead as his team's most prolific attacker in the Championship in 2023/24. 

He is also level with marauding full-back Leif Davis (2 goals and 18 assists), as Ipswich's most productive player this term - Chaplin's seven assists highlighting his ability to lay chances on a plate, as well as snaffle them himself. 

It is worth dwelling on Chaplin's relationship with Davis for a moment longer, as the two share a special brand of telepathy. 

Across the entire EFL this season, no one has supplied more assists for a single team-mate than Davis, who has laid on seven of Chaplin's 13 strikes (54%) in the second tier. For those interested, only Notts County's Jodi Jones (provider) and Dan Crowley (goalscorer) can match Davis and Chaplin's potent pairing across 'The 72'. 

One of only four players across the top four tiers to be involved in 50+ league goals over the past two seasons (+ Haaland, Cook and Salah), Chaplin has a host of eye-catching stats just from the current campaign: no forward scoring more Championship goals from set-pieces (4) and only five players in the division firing more shots on target than Chaplin's 40 to date. 

However, there is one particular stat that illustrates better than most how important Chaplin has been to Ipswich's tremendous automatic promotion push in the Championship under Kieran McKenna. 

Chaplin has spoken this season about "needing to find ways to win" in the Championship, and the 27-year-old former Barnsley and Portsmouth forward has excelled in doing just that for Ipswich. 

In fact, Chaplin has scored more match-winning goals (5) than any player in the Championship this season, only Stevenage's Jamie Reid (also 5) able to match the Ipswich attacker in this department across 'The 92'. 

That quintet of matchwinners has sealed 10 precious points for the Tractor Boys that could well end up paving Ipswich's path to the promised land. 

A win and a draw from their remaining two games - at Coventry and then at home to Huddersfield - and Ipswich will be back in the Premier League. 

Having already appeared in all three EFL divisions, Chaplin will complete the set in 'The 92' should Ipswich reach the top flight. 

It would be a fantastic individual storyline and one that runs parallel to the fantastic success Ipswich have enjoyed ever since McKenna was appointed manager of the former UEFA Cup winners back in 2021. 

Playmaker's EFL 72...the countdown

29: George Thomason 30: Mickey Demetriou

31: Stephy Mavididi 32: Marc Leonard 33: Josh Sheehan

34: Matt Smith 35: Kwame Poku 36: Illan Meslier 37: Aden Flint

38: Ronnie Edwards 39: Josh Sargent 40: Alex Gilbey 41: Ben Sheaf

42: Jobe Bellingham 43: Devante Cole 44: Jacob Greaves 45: Paddy Lane

46: Herbie Kane 47: Dan James 48: Archie Collins 49: Karamoko Dembele

50: Haji Wright 51: Dan Crowley 52: Cameron Brannagan 53: Aaron Collins

54: Andy Cook 55: Connor Shaughnessy 56: Jannik Vestergaard

57: Willy Gnonto 58: Ellis Simms 59: Charlie Hughes 60: Fatawu Isshaku

61: Sam Hoskins 62: Paul Mullin 63: Chris Martin 64: Omari Hutchinson

65: Isaac Hutchinson 66: Sam Tickle 67: Ben Hinchcliffe 68: Michał Helik

69: Lewis Wing 70: Rob Apter 71: Kyle Walker-Peters 72: Alex Palmer

Conor Chaplin
NameConor Mark Chaplin
Born/Age1997-02-16(27 -yrs-old)


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2024-04-29 20h24m by jreedmanbrst
Wow, what a list! As a football fan, I have to say I agree with most of the selections. It's not just about the stats, but also the impact they've had on their respective teams. And let's not forget, some players may have dropped in the rankings but are still crucial to their team's success. Looking forward to seeing the final few entries!
2024-04-29 18h58m by banderson1976
Football fans in en-GB: Wow, what a list! These players have truly made an impact this season. As for Conor Chaplin, even though he's dropped in the rankings, he's still a crucial player for Ipswich Town and his dedication to helping the team secure promotion is admirable.
2024-04-29 18h57m by sjacksons_9_2_1
As a football fan, I have to say that this list looks promising and exciting! It's great to see players who have had memorable seasons and impressive stats being recognized. Conor Chaplin may have fallen in the rankings, but his determination to help Ipswich Town secure promotion shows true dedication.
2024-04-29 18h56m by nlawson12
As a football fan, I have to say I'm extremely grateful for this countdown of the EFL's best performers. It's been a tough decision, but these players have truly stood out this season and deserve recognition. And even though Conor Chaplin may have dropped in the rankings, his dedication to Ipswich's success is admirable.
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