WHAT would you do with Alan Judge if you were Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert?

The midfielder was interested in leaving the club last summer with significant interest from Queens Park Rangers, despite signing a permanent deal with Town a few weeks before, following his successful short-term deal coming to an end.

Marcus Evans therefore put his foot down on three bids from the London club and had no intention to sell his star player.

Added to that, there was a shortage of replacements who could come in and replicate the Irishman’s form during the last campaign.

This was music to Ipswich fans’ ears, who felt they had a much better chance of gaining promotion back to the Championship at the first attempt with Judge at the centre of proceedings.

However, fast forward a few months and the clamour for Judge has quietened among potential suitors and Town fans alike, after an indifferent start to the former Brentford man’s campaign to date.

Nonetheless, with so many quality options and competition for places in midfield, it’s a problem Lambert has not been too concerned about.

It’s been well documented about Judge’s off-field, personal problems as well as his form on it, with question marks surrounding whether the fact his head is elsewhere in terms of football.

But for sure; he is the ultimate professional.

He’s not a drinker or gambler.

He’s friendly, a family man and someone who wants to achieve the best he possibly can in his career. Who can argue with that?

And for every ‘if he doesn’t want to be here then get rid’ from the Town faithful, let’s not judge a book by it’s cover just yet…

Judge wants to play in the role behind the strikers, which allows him to roam free, effectively pull the strings and make things happen to the best of his ability.

With Lambert reverting to a 4-4-2 formation at times in the early games, with the addition of Jon Nolan returning from injury and subsequently firing on all cylinders in his preferred position, Lambert has often deployed Judge in a wide role this season - which has seen the Ireland international struggle for form in an area of the pitch that doesn’t always play to his strengths.

Arguably, Judge is one of Town's most talented players and can be the difference in a nailbiting encounter.

He’s the midfielder who can pick a pass.

He can drive and take the team forward - and his set-pieces are not too shabby either.

On his day, he can be the playmaker who justifies a move to the league above (hopefully with Ipswich this time next season).

As last season proves, he can be a great asset going forward. Personally, I think he could be part of a fruitful front trio behind strikers James Norwood and Kayden Jackson, in the number ten role providing the service they require.

With the games now coming thick and fast in the league, FA Cup and Leasing.com competitions, Judge may see his fortunes change and force his way into Lambert’s set-up long-term, with the hope that the best is yet to come in an Ipswich shirt.

His quality is undisputed, but most importantly his head needs to be in the right place if the club are to see the best of him this season.