HAVING watched Anthony Wordsworth at close quarters, for most of his still fledgling career, I am confident that the silky midfielder can blossom in the Championship.

Only a recent two-match suspension has denied Wordsworth a chance to celebrate his 200th senior appearance for Colchester United, a club he has been with throughout his career.

He has certainly come a long way since making his first team debut, as a raw 18-year-old, in a League Cup defeat at Shrewsbury Town on August 14, 2007.

Wordsworth was introduced as a 78th minute substitute, for left winger Kevin McLeod, in that 1-0 reverse – it was Shrewsbury’s first ever game at the New Meadow, at the start of the U’s second and last season in the Championship.

Four team-mates from that game in Shropshire – Karl Duguid, Kem Izzet, Mark Cousins and John White – are still at the Essex club.

Others from that squad, including George Elokobi, Johnnie Jackson and Mark Yeates, have gone on to play at a higher level, either in the Premier League or the Championship.

And Wordsworth, who left the U’s this week after 199 senior outings, has followed in their footsteps.

Ipswich, who closed out the deal the day before transfer deadline day, have signed a player with terrific vision, blessed with a nose for a quality pass, and even more importantly a nose for goal!

Now operating as a central midfielder, Wordsworth has still spent most of his career on the left side of midfield, which makes his tally of 35 goals from 177 league games all the more impressive.

He is also deadly from set pieces, especially from long-range free-kicks – Town would be grateful for a few of those goals from his midfield role.

Graduating from the youth team ranks at Layer Road, when current first team boss Joe Dunne was youth team manager, Wordsworth only made four appearances in that 2007-08 season, with just one start in the Championship, a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Hull City.

He has played under five different managers at Colchester – Geraint Williams, Paul Lambert, Aidy Boothroyd, John Ward and Dunne – though ironically he scored his first ever goals while Kit Symons was caretaker boss, a brace in a 4-3 defeat at Cheltenham Town on October 11, 2008. Goals have flowed regularly, with 10 bagged in 2009-10 and 13 netted last season.

New boss Dunne installed Wordsworth as skipper following his appointment last autumn, but in truth he has lost his way a little this season.

Ten yellow cards, equating to two suspensions, has not helped, while the U’s overall have struggled in the lower half of League One.

Now, then, was the right time for Wordsworth to move on, especially as his Colchester contract expired this summer.

Ipswich have an exciting new player on their books.