Lambert: Donacien Strongest at Centre-Half
Wednesday, 21st Nov 2018 18:21
Blue boss Paul Lambert says he sees summer signing Janoi Donacien as a centre-half primarily rather than a right-back.
Donacien, 25, was brought in from Accrington Stanley in the summer to play at right-back by former boss Paul Hurst, although having played most of his football last season at left-back for the League Two champions.
However, while coming through the academy ranks at Aston Villa, with Lambert in charge for almost three years of his spell with the Midlanders during which time he was an unused sub for the first team twice, he was mainly viewed as a centre-half.
Asked which he believes is Donacien’s best role, Lambert said: “Centre-half. That’s me. I know he’s played right-back and left-back and he might go right back, left-back I’d say no.
“Right-back I’d say if we needed somebody to fill in that area then that’s an option but I still see his strongest position as centre-half.”
Donacien joined Town in the summer in a deal which is initially a season-long loan but will become a permanent £750,000 switch once the St Lucia-born defender’s permanent leave to remain is confirmed.
Lambert says that as far as he’s aware that confirmation is still to arrive with the paperwork, which is understood to be a formality, having taken longer than had been expected to arrive.
“I’m not 100 per cent sure but I think they’re still working on it or it’s coming through,” Lambert said.
“He was only a kid [when I was] at Aston Villa. Time moves, people get older and he knows himself that Chambo and Matthew Pennington are playing really well together and they’ve got to be ready if anything happens as well.
“But training-wise, never a problem. A good pro, does everything that's asked of him. Good about the area, so no problem.”
He added: “I’m not sure of too much the detail [relating to the permanent leave to remain] because I’m only just here. I know a little bit about it but I don’t know the crux of what it entails. I just train the team and pick the team and I deal with other things later.”
While he sees Donacien as a centre-half, Lambert has been impressed by Trevoh Chalobah, who plays as a central defender for the England U20s and Chelsea, in midfield for the Blues.
“Chelsea’s obviously his parent club, they’ll see him where they see him,” he said. “I’ve just come in here and seen him play in midfield.
“I saw him play in three at the back at Millwall and that didn’t go down too well, not just Trevoh I think the way the team was playing, the confidence was low and things weren’t going their way.
“But, since I’ve been here, the two midfield games he’s played, he’s been excellent, he’s been brilliant for us. He looks comfortable in the middle of the pitch.”
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