Exclusive: Sam Morsy opens up on his Middlesbrough departure, Championship loan offers and Ipswich Town move

When Sam Morsy left the Riverside Stadium following Middlesbrough’s 1-1 draw with Blackburn, there was little indication it would be his last match for the Teessiders.

By Joe Nicholson
Sunday, 5th September 2021, 4:37 pm

In the eyes of many, including Boro boss Neil Warnock and Rovers manager Tony Mowbray, the Egyptian midfielder had been harshly sent off for a tackle on Tyler Magloire nine minutes from time.

Boro immediately appealed the decision. Not only did they feel they had been wronged, yet Morsy appeared to be a key member of their first-team squad after starting three of the side’s first five league games.

Yet three days later, the 29-year-old had been sold to League One side Ipswich Town, linking up with his former Wigan boss Paul Cook at Portman Road.

Sam Morsy playing for Middlesbrough.

“I had no intention of leaving Middlesbrough, ” Morsy tells the Mail just days after his deadline day move to Ipswich.

"Even when I was told they were signing a midfielder I was happy to fight for my place but I think it was made clear from upstairs that they wanted to sell me.

“Initially I said that’s fine if the club wants to sell me but I said I’m staying put.

“I’d settled in the area, enjoyed my team-mates, enjoyed the coaching staff, it was a great atmosphere and I wanted to stay.

Sam Morsy playing against Fulham for Middlesbrough.

“I think when it became apparent I wouldn’t have a fair shot, that’s when I had to look elsewhere.

“It was late on the last day and I knew the manager at Ipswich and had told him earlier in the window there was no interest in leaving the club.

“Usually when I’m at a club I’m fully committed, fully committed to the cause and excited for the season."

Boro’s signings this summer have shown the club are taking a different approach in the transfer market, with the likes of playmaker Martin Payero, striker Andraz Sporar and midfielder James Lea Siliki joining the Teessiders from abroad.

Sam Morsy received a round of applause from his team-mates following Middlesbrough's win over Reading in February.

The Teessiders have also appointed a new head of football in Kieran Scott, formerly of Norwich, as they look to improve their recruitment strategy.

When Siliki’s loan move from French club Rennes was confirmed on deadline day, it became clear Morsy was surplus to requirements at Boro and had to look elsewhere.

“There were a couple of loans in the Championship to go to but the club wouldn’t accept a loan, only a permanent one,” he admits.

“At that time Ipswich were the ones who offered a three-year deal.

“Going there I know the manager and know I’m going to enjoy my football, they have some really good players there and once we get going I think we can have a really good season.

“They have new owners and they’ve made 19 new signings, they’ll probably strengthen in January so I think it’s an exciting time for the club.”

Despite his abrupt departure, Morsy hugely enjoyed his year at Boro after joining the club from Wigan in 2020.

The midfielder says he will miss the environment which was generated by Neil Warnock and his coaching staff, which provided some great memories and friendships on Teesside.

When asked if he spoke to Warnock about leaving, Morsy replies: “Basically it was a decision from upstairs really, a decision over him.

“There is a lot of transition going on at the club at the minute, a new director of football and lots of change really.

“I was the first casualty of the regime really.

“I spoke to all the coaching staff and had a really good relationship and really enjoyed working with them, good honest guys.

“Obviously I was only at the club for a year and had some really good bonds and loved my time there.”

On his relationship with Boro’s staff, the midfielder adds: “I pretty much spoke to everyone at the club really and will stay in touch but it’s quite sad to be going to be honest.

"There had been nothing to suggest I would be leaving, it was just so out of the blue and I was just purely in a place of enjoying my football and enjoying coming to work everyday.

“It was sad really but this is football and it’s a cutthroat industry. I just have to immerse myself into this squad and this football club and hopefully have a successful season.”

Despite playing most games behind closed doors, there were still some memorable moments for Morsy during his year at Boro.

A 2-0 away win at Reading, when he received a round of applause from Warnock and the team on the pitch at full-time, particularly stands out.

“I think Reading away,” replies Morsy when asked about his best games at Boro. “They were flying at the time and that was a really, really strong performance so that was something I enjoyed.

“Barnsley at home as well, that was my first start for the club and first win of the season.

“I had some great memories there and met some great people, it was just a great atmosphere.

“I think there are not a lot of times when you go and you are genuinely buzzing for training, the games and we had that at Middlesbrough. It was a great atmosphere and something I’ll miss.”

While Morsy will remember his time fondly at Boro, his aim is now to win promotion from League One with Ipswich – despite The Tractor Boys’ tough start to the season.

"That’s why I went there, that’s the plan.” says Morsy.

"The manager has been really successful, I know some of the lads and I think once we get going we are going to be hard to stop.

“Without a doubt promotion is what we are after.”

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