Lambert Confirms Jackson Bid
Friday, 11th Sep 2020 10:14
Town boss Paul Lambert has confirmed that the Blues rejected an offer from AFC Bournemouth for striker Kayden Jackson earlier in the week.
We understand the Cherries offered £1 million for the 26-year-old rather than the higher figure reported when the story initially broke.
Over the summer Jackson turned down the offer of a contract extension at Town.
Since then, various Championship clubs have been linked with the striker, including Coventry, Stoke City and Birmingham City.
As previously reported, Blackburn showed interest in January when League One Peterborough were also said to be keen, while we understand Luton Town have also been monitoring his situation.
“I just found out after the game on Tuesday that Bournemouth put a bid,” Lambert said when asked about the interest. "Again, I don’t think it’s up to [owner] Marcus [Evans]’s valuation.
“Now that might transpire, I don’t know. That’s up to Bournemouth, what they want to do with it.
“I spoke to Kayden the other day and he was really good, no issues at all. He’s got a little injury at the minute but he was really professional about it, no problem there.”
Did the move not interest last season’s 11-goal joint-top scorer? “I think any player wants to improve and if it’s an opportunity to go to a higher level, maybe more money, all those sorts of thing.
“But again it’s up to Marcus what he does with the transfer fee if one does come in and it’s suitable for the football club moving forward.”
We understand Bournemouth view Jackson as a squad player rather than an initial regular starter and have other players who they see in a similar way that they have turned their attention to since their offer was turned down, however, that doesn’t rule out a return for the Town frontman.
Asked whether he would look to replace Jackson, who was signed from Accrington Stanley in the summer of 2018 for £1.6 million, were he to move on, Lambert said: “There are certain areas of the pitch we need strengthening anyway.
"The midfield is overcooked anyway, there’s loads of competition in there. I still think we’re light a bit in wide areas. If money comes in, you can strengthen different areas.”
But he admits his ability to replace Jackson were he to depart, or make signings in other areas, is limited by the constraints of the salary cap.
“Yes, that’s the big problem,” he said. "Even if money comes in, you can’t spend it. That’s the problem, with the salary cap the way it is that’s what can happen.
“I wouldn’t want to stand in anybody’s way to better themselves. If Kayden or any other player moves, we can think we had a part in his development and they’re moving on, which is fine. But when money comes in and you can’t spend it, it becomes difficult.”
However, with his responsibility the success of the football club, an individual player’s career development can’t be treated as the main factor in these situations? “No, you can’t but money dictates what’s happening, and money will dictate what happens here as well.
“If somebody comes in with more money for somebody and it’s something the owner wants to do, then he’ll decide what he wants to do with the money. Like anything, finances are a big part of the game.”
Given the salary cap, might his other business have to be loans of U21 players? “Yes, and another thing is that we’ve got too many players at the minute. We have to submit a squad of 22 soon.
"I think the whole pandemic has caused havoc with everything, the salary cap, everything really. It’s a strange situation for everybody, but we have to look at that."
Lambert says Jackson, who us currently sidelined with a groin injury, is in his plans, although he says he faces a battle to get into the side once he is fit with the Blues starting with one central striker in a 4-3-3 system.
“He’s got his hands full with Aaron Drinan and others [James Norwood and Oli Hawkins] playing ahead of him at the minute because of his injury.
“There’s only one striker to choose from at the minute and, as I said before, any position on the park, once you get that jersey my advice would be keep a hold of it because you could find yourself a long time out.”
He says the Bradford-born frontman is making progress on the fitness front: “Kayden’s doing OK, he was jogging the other day, which is a good sign.”
Given that there is currently only one central striker’s role, does Lambert see Jackson as someone who could play one of the wider positions up front?
“When I came here Kayden was a striker and the last manager bought him as a centre-forward and that’s only where I’ve seen him," he said. "So, I guess you’re better asking Paul Hurst that really.”
Jackson has played that position before at Barnsley, albeit not in their first team, however, Lambert doesn’t see a need to play him there at present at Town.
“I really don’t know,” he added. "The guys out wide at this moment are playing really, really well. Kayden’s injured at the minute. The team is playing really well at this moment.
“Kayden’s injured at the minute, Aaron Drinan’s playing really well through the middle. When Kayden comes back from injury, then we’d have to see.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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