Lambert: Deals for Proven Loan Targets Too Rich For Us
Friday, 31st Jan 2020 11:28
Town boss Paul Lambert is not expecting to add to his squad before this evening’s 11pm deadline having targeted “proven” loan signings but with the deals to land them too costly.
The Blues have made only one addition this window, Preston’s Josh Earl having come in on loan as a direct replacement for Toto Nsiala who joined Bolton on a similar basis, and Lambert all but ruled out further new recruits being added to his squad before the January transfer window closes this evening.
Asked whether he is expecting a quiet day, Lambert said: “As I said to you the other day, we can’t go out and buy anybody. I’ve enquired about a few loans just to see if people can come in and help, but the money is incredible for some of them, so that won’t be feasible I don’t think, unless something pops up later on in the day.
“I’m never quite convinced with the January window because you get players that aren’t fit and it takes about a month to get them fit, or you get other people’s problems.
“The group of lads we’ve got at the minute have done brilliantly to get us into this position, so they deserve to stay with it.
“Sometimes you bring a few into your dressing room and it can actually disturb it. Then all of a sudden those guys go back and you don’t see them for the dust, so it’s not a window I’m a great fan of.”
On Monday keeper Bartosz Bialkowski joined Millwall on a permanent basis for a fee which is understood to be heavily based on appearance and achievement milestones rather than a significant initial fee.
Asked why the deal was done if it wasn’t going to give him cash to spend now, Lambert said: “It was the right thing for the club and the right thing for Bart.
“Finances dictate a helluva lot and how you interpret finances, whether it’s transfer fees or salaries or whatever it may be, it was right.
“Bart himself wanted to go as well, he’d been here for a few years and I knew the situation that when the money comes in we aren’t going to see it, so it’s fine.”
Lambert insists he has no problem with that: “Yes, it would be different if we’d sold Bart for £30 million then dear oh dear there’s no way, but it is what it is. There’s no point in asking why I can't get it when it’s not there.”
Last year Town had a busy January adding seven players, but with a number of them not getting up to speed until more than a month down the line. Was that in the back of his mind when it came to looking at January business this time around?
“Not really. I think last year we were trying everything to stay in the league,” he recalled.
“This year the guys have put themselves in a position where we’re in a real good place within touching distance of getting out of the league.
“They’re earnt the right because I trust them to do it. Last year was different, but you think we need a bit of help here to try and change something.
“I said before that when you bring a lot of people in it can disturb a lot of things, it can knock you off the rails but the guys that I brought in last year were all good guys, we were fortunate that way.
“But January is difficult because guys have not been playing as much football as they should have plus the finances can be huge.”
Given that Town are third in the table in with a very decent shout of pushing on for promotion, did he have conversations with owner Marcus Evans about adding from a position of strength?
“Marcus has been great, but the players I enquired about were too rich,” he said. “Or I could have gone for kids who are not any better than the kids [here] or they’re not ready to come into this environment. It’s not going to benefit us on that side.
“The ones I did go for were proven ones that I knew could maybe do it but the level of money was extreme, was massively extreme.
“There’s only two ways you can do it, you either get ones in that are not playing at their clubs and who could take three or four weeks to get fit or kids where it could be their first loan and you’re never quite sure what you’re getting from that side. It’s a really dangerous one.
“They’ve got to be ones who are going to help you, not necessarily better than what you’ve got, but ones that are going to help. I think the ones we did go for were slightly out of our range.”
Lambert says, having been unable to get the players he wanted, he was keen to avoid the temptation to make signings just for the sake of adding numbers to the squad.
“That’s it, there’s nothing out there,” he said. “The money’s high, there are Premier League ones that we’ve looked at and all of a sudden you find out that if you don’t play them there’s a massive bill attached to it and we’re not in a position to pay that.
“And we’re not in a position where we can say we can guarantee guys games. So if you don’t play them you get hit with a massive ‘fine’. That’s not healthy for anybody. It [makes them] too dear, too rich for us. The ones I wanted to look at were high.”
Town similarly employ that approach when they send their players out on loan with plenty of the Blues’ youngsters currently on spells in League Two or non-league.
Aside from Bialkowski, there have been no permanent exits with interest in Luke Woolfenden and Flynn Downes having come to nothing, for this window at least, barring a late unexpected offer which Lambert saus would have to be enormous.
“There’s certainly no way [they’re going] unless someone came in with an incredible amount of money, there’s no way those two guys are going,” he said regarding the two highly-rated youngsters.
Ultimately, Lambert is confident the squad he has can get the job of getting back into the Championship done.
“Absolutely, it’s got us in the position it’s got us in,” he said. “As I said before, I don’t think many people would have expected us to be where we are because of the disappointment of last year.
“It’s dead difficult where a team gets relegated to be in that position, it doesn’t matter what club you’re at.
“My old club Stoke, that’s got a wealthy ownership there, a really good ownership and they’ve found it unbelievably tough. They’ve found themselves nowhere near a play-off place.
“Things like that can happen. But what the guys have done has been absolutely brilliant to turn it around. We’ve never really been outside the top six all season, we’ve always been up there and we’re still in it.”
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