BLACK Friday.

A shopping phenomenon and highly-anticipated event for bargain-hunters.

Slashed prices, huge savings and generous discounts – a perfect opportunity to get organised before Christmas.

Football’s big shopping spree comes in January, of course, when the transfer window swings open on New Year’s Day.

And what a pivotal month that promises to be for Town boss Paul Lambert, with his side still propping up the Championship table.

In the meantime, with the festive period creeping closer, fans will be hoping their catalogue of summer signings provide an early present in this week’s Black Friday showdown against West Bromwich Albion, at Portman Road.

Of course, the shopping link is a tenuous one and I’m having fun, rather than making a hard-hitting point.

But there’s no doubt that spending – more precisely value for money – was a major part of the club’s change of direction in the summer.

Previous boss Paul Hurst recruited a host of players, mainly from lower-league clubs, and while fees were paid, it was a drop in the ocean compared to the cash received for Martyn Waghorn (£5 million, rising to £7.5m), Adam Webster (£3.5m) and Joe Garner (£1.25).

Now it’s time, given the club’s predicament, for those newcomers to really show their worth.

For my money, the pick of the bunch have been midfielder Trevoh Chalobah and winger Gwion Edwards, a £700,000 signing from Peterborough United.

The latter has been my personal favourite – the most creative, exciting player in a side that have struggled to score goals.

His tricky wing play caught the eye from the start, in the pre-season friendlies, and his class in the final third was underlined by an unstoppable strike in Town’s recent draw at Reading.

Chalobah, on loan from Chelsea, is still prone to mistakes and lapses in concentration but has become a regular, steady performer in his holding midfield role, alongside Cole Skuse.

At his best, he’s dynamic and energetic – clearly a talent with a bright future.

Kayden Jackson was Town’s ‘big-money’ signing – a £1.6m addition from Accrington Stanley.

Just two goals so far is a disappointing return but I like the striker’s pace, industry and willingness to graft.

However, he would undoubtedly benefit from playing alongside a target man, rather than ploughing a lone furrow up front.

Matthew Pennington has been a steady, solid acquisition on loan from Everton while free transfer signing Jordan Roberts, drafted in from Crawley Town, has been a surprise starter under Lambert.

Deservedly so. He’s led the line well, posed a threat and provided strength and bulk up front.

To be fair, I thought the same of £750,000 signing Ellis Harrison, who joined Town from Bristol Rovers, and it was a cruel blow when he suffered ankle ligament damage in late September.

That’s my positive review of Town’s signings.

Predictably, others have been less convincing and the jury is still out on the likes of Janoi Donacien, Toto Nsiasla and Jon Nolan.

I’m still not convinced any have the quality to step up to Championship level, having previously plied their trade in League One.

Donacien, to be fair, has been a versatile and regular member of the team but looks too prone to errors for my liking. Likewise the erratic Nsiasla.

Fulham loanee Tayo Edun is clearly a talent with tricks and flicks in his armoury but his game time has been limited.

The highlight was his opening-day goal against Blackburn but he’s only featured half-a-dozen times since and was suspended after being sent off against Aston Villa.

Jordan Graham has also had a disappointing time at Portman Road.

Three starts and one substitute appearance tells its own story and it was no surprise to read reports that the Wolves loanee is now training with Oxford United.

So there you have it.

My brief lowdown on the progress of Ipswich’s additions.

Naturally, there are hits and misses – inevitable with any influx of players.

Now Town need to hope and pray for two things – a profitable Black Friday, in the shape of three points against the Baggies, followed by some astute, eye-catching and successful investment when the purse strings are loosened in January.

Both are so badly needed.