Uche Ikpeazu’s departure to Middlesbrough had been coming, but it was still a bitter pill to swallow for Wanderers fans.

After an injury-hit start to his Adams Park career, Ikpeazu soon established himself as one of Wycombe’s key players and enjoyed an excellent end to the season.

His first goal for the club came against ‘Boro’ at the turn of the year, and the Ugandan played in every game from there on in, notching six goals in total.

He hit memorable strikes against Brentford and Bournemouth, and also played a significant part in the convincing final-day victory over his new club.

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All that put Ikpeazu in the shop window for potential suitors, and after the Chairboys’ relegation was eventually confirmed, it always seemed likely that he would return to the Championship.

The 26-year-old said it had been his ambition to play in the second tier, so perhaps it’s understandable that he wanted to stay there after making 31 appearances for Wycombe.

Ikpeazu was a popular figure at Adams Park (Prime Media)

Ikpeazu was a popular figure at Adams Park (Prime Media)

The front man was linked with moves to a host of Championship clubs, including Nottingham Forest, but it was Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough that got the deal over the line for a large fee.

He certainly fits into Warnock’s style of play, and after the departure of Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher, Ikpeazu may well be first-choice for the north-east club next season.

With the likes of Sammy Ameobi and Marcus Browne to supply the ammunition for Ikpeazu, he could prove to be another success story after leaving Wycombe.

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However, that puts the Chairboys in a difficult situation, with that area of the pitch surely now the number one target for an incoming signing.

Of the current options in the squad, Scott Kashket and Alex Samuel are the only strikers under contract in the first-team, and although both are definitely capable, they may lack the firepower to be Wanderers’ main goalscorer in a League One promotion bid.

Development Squad player Malachi Linton is highly-rated, but is unlikely to be ready for first-team football yet.

Will Admiral Muskwe return to Adams Park? He scored the club’s goal of the season in the 2-2 draw against Swansea City on April 17 (Bradley Collyer/PA Wire)

Will Admiral Muskwe return to Adams Park? He scored the club’s goal of the season in the 2-2 draw against Swansea City on April 17 (Bradley Collyer/PA Wire)

That means all eyes turn to the transfer market, where a loan player from a Premier League club may be the main focus.

Wycombe have a history of successful loanees of course, with Admiral Muskwe the most recent example in that position.

Brentford’s Aaron Pressley could be a player to go for and is capped at youth level for Scotland, while Indiana Vassilev of Aston Villa will be looking for the next step in his career.

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Maxime Biamou would be a like-for-like replacement for Ikpeazu, and you’d like to think he’s the number one target, but the Frenchman is likely in high demand.

A more experienced option is Biamou’s fellow free agent, Sam Baldock, who was born in Buckinghamshire and started out with MK Dons, but the 32-year-old’s wage demands may be a stumbling block.

There’s no doubt that the departure of Ikpeazu is a significant blow for Wycombe, but if the management staff act quickly, then there are plenty of accomplished replacements out there.