Lambert: We'd Have to Sell to Do Anything of Significance
Friday, 10th Jan 2020 14:09
Blues boss Paul Lambert has reiterated that players would have to be sold for him to spend anything of significance during the January transfer window but that ideally he doesn’t want to lose any of his promising youngsters, with Flynn Downes and Luke Woolfenden both understood to have attracted the interest of clubs from higher divisions. He added that if sales of that nature are made 100 per cent of the proceeds would have to go back into the team.
Asked whether it remained the case that additions would depend on current players being sold, Lambert said: “Anything of significance then yes, you’d have to sell somebody.”
Does he have a list of players he might move for if cash was suddenly available? “If money came in, dear oh dear. Then you really go heavy, you go heavy and go with lads that you think can do it without a doubt. But that isn’t there is this moment.”
So as things stand, interest in those potential signings hasn’t been registered? “Which is totally fine. As long as I know where we are and what’s happening with everybody, we’ll try to do little things.
“We can't do half a million or something like that. It’s difficult. People have to respect what [owner] Marcus [Evans] has done for the club.
"It’s been great what he’s done here for the club but what’s happened before it’s affecting things at the minute, so we have to be really careful.
“But I’ve said before there are some young ones there that you could sell for a helluva lot of money, but somebody has to want them.”
Asked whether he believes it would be beneficial to add some new faces to freshen the squad up, he said: “You’ve got to. When you’re sitting in a decent position in the table, you’ve got to try and freshen it because it boosts everybody and I think that’s important.
“And if we can do that with one or two coming in just to help us and if we can get that then great."
And Evans understands that? “Yes, any dressing room I’ve been in as a player, I’ve always seen players coming in, whether I was a player or a manager.
“Because when you’re a player, you start to look over your shoulder at who can take your place and as a manager you try and help the guys to stay in the side, and I think that’s important.”
Lambert is going into his third transfer window at Town, does he feel he’s at the point where he needs to start evolving the squad?
“The only player we’ve actually bought has been Kane Vincent-Young, and he’s been unbelievable, he’s just been a major blow that guy with his injury,” he reflected.
“The rest of the lads have been loans and frees. But the other guys have come in and done well for us, we just need to put that together to do it.
“If we sold one of the younger ones or whoever it’s a different dynamic to a lot of things. But Marcus can only do what he can do, he can’t give you something that’s not there.”
That being the case, having the likes of Downes and Woolfenden in his squad who could potentially raise millions, is it tempting to sell to improve the overall squad?
“The only way you could do it was if you were 100 per cent the money was coming back into the team, that’s the only way you could do it,” he said.
“The lads you just mentioned there, nobody knows what their value is, if they’re £28-£30 million the way football’s going.
“As I’ve said before, the Championship is what the Premier League was 10 or 15 years ago with the level of money that’s there.
“You look at teams that are in the Championship now, look at my old club Stoke. Unbelievable club, incredible club, but they’re sitting just outside the relegation zone.
“Nobody would have thought that, never in a million years. There are good people up there, Mr Coates and people like that, absolutely brilliant.
"If you’ve got an asset there that somebody wants to come in and buy, in the modern day game, it doesn’t matter who you are, if the money’s there then people can move.”
Lambert says that as was the case when Kieron Dyer was sold to Newcastle in 1999, the fee must be invested in new players. The £6.5 million received for Dyer went into the fees and wages of the likes of John McGreal, Jermaine Wright, Gary Croft, Marcus Stewart and Martijn Reuser, who initially joined on loan, during the promotion season which followed.
“That’s what’s got to have to happen, Marcus has even said that himself, that we have to look at that,” he said.
“But you’re only worth what somebody is willing to pay for you. That’s the difference.”
Asked whether the same of one of the club’s higher value players is likely this month, he added: “Ideally I wouldn’t want to lose the guys, the ones you’ve just mentioned [Downes and Woolfenden], and I’m talking about any guys.
“If somebody came in with big money it’s a decision the football club itself has to make to say, ‘OK, we’ll sell one of our better guys and we’ll go and buy three or four in that have played at this level’. That’s the way of it.
“[If there was such as sale], there would be ones I would try and get, but the realism of it is, the ones that I want might not be affordable for here, that’s the realism of that scenario.”
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