Lambert: Woolfenden's Going to Be a Really Good Player
Thursday, 10th Jan 2019 18:19
Blues manager Paul Lambert believes young defender Luke Woolfenden is going to be a really good player in time and says Town, who handed forward Jack Lankester an extended contract earlier in the week, can’t afford to allow talented youngsters leave.
Woolfenden, 20, was back at the club earlier in the week for Lambert to run the rule over him in training having been sent out on loan to League Two Swindon Town in August and has now returned to the County Ground.
The central defender or right-back, who spent time on loan at Bromley in the Vanarama National League last season, has made 21 starts for the Robins and has scored one goal.
“I’ve watched him for the last couple of days, we’ve got to be fair to Swindon as well, they were playing him,” Lambert said.
“Luke’s back at Swindon, but I’ve also got the option to bring him back before the end of the window if I need to.
“I think in time he’s going to be a really good player. I think he’s got the stature for being a good defender. But again he’s still a kid in football terms.”
Ipswich-born Woolfenden, who is contracted to the Blues until the summer of 2019 with the club having an option for a further year, is among a number of young players coming through at Town with Lankester, 18, having been given a new deal to June 2022 earlier in the week, with the club again having an additional year’s option.
“I don’t think this football club can let young talented players just leave the club,” Lambert added. “I think that’s important.
“I think Jack is a big, big talent and has played more than he thought he probably would. He did well against Millwall the other week. I’m delighted he’s tied in and hopefully a few more will follow.”
Another of that crop of young talent, midfielder Andre Dozzell, was linked with Premier League trio Brighton, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace earlier in the week, reports which were news to Lambert when they were put to him at his press conference.
“He’s not started [much since Lambert took charge] but he’s a kid, he’s learning his trade,” he said regarding the 19-year-old, who is contracted to 2020 plus a further season's option.
“And if somebody wanted to give you £15 million or £20 million, it’s different. The way the market is.
“We certainly wouldn’t let anybody leave here easily, we’re not just a stepping stone for somebody else.
“The way the modern market is, you can never put a price on anybody. Dozzell’s got a really good chance of being a really good footballer.
“The lad’s had a really bad injury, he’s played not a lot of games for me. If those teams are reported and it was those figures, that’s the way the game is. But Dozzell’s got a chance.”
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