'That doesn't bother me... it will definitely be a smaller squad' - Lambert on streamlining and using free agent market
PUBLISHED: 06:00 09 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:04 09 April 2019
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Paul Lambert has laid out his Ipswich Town transfer strategy, revealing the free agent market, a smaller squad and less of a reliance on loan players will be at the heart of his plans this summer.
The Blues boss has already stated his desire to rebuild the club around the club’s young players, but knows his squad will need to be supplemented by a number of experienced players for what is likely to be a League One promotion bid.
Any new players are likely to arrive on free transfers, with Lambert hopeful of keeping Will Keane when his Hull contract expires and the Blues showing an interest in Tranmere’s out-of-contract, 29-goal leading scorer James Norwood.
“That’s what we would have to do but that doesn’t bother me,” Lambert said, when asked about the free agent market.
“We just want to build a team and a structure here where the young ones can be really exciting but they need time to develop and progress.
“There are some good players here and they’re getting better.
“It doesn’t matter to me how much money the club has got.
“It’s about having a spirit and a structure to build back to where it should be, rather than not doing things right.
“It’s the structure that has to be right.”
Lambert pointed to his own playing career as an example of how good players can be signed when their contracts expire.
“The Bosman ruling did me the world of good,” he said, on his move from Motherwell to Borussia Dortmund in 1996.
“Without the Bosman ruling I wouldn’t have moved to Borussia Dortmund and won the Champions League (in 1997).
“I doesn’t matter to me. I used it 20-odd years ago and it’s the best thing I ever did.”
The Blues currently have 48 players on professional contracts, including youngsters, but five loanees are due to depart at the end of the season and there are a further 11 players out of contract this summer.
“There are too many players, as everybody knows, so it will definitely be a smaller squad,” Lambert said.
“There are five lads here on loan and others out of contract.
“Why do we have to go and buy a player when it stops young ones coming through. That’s where it goes wrong.
“We have to get players in who can hit the ground running rather than blocking young players’ paths.
“I can never say never but you won’t have five or six players on loan here next season that’s for sure.
“Okay, maybe one, two at the most but I don’t want to go down that road.”
IPSWICH TOWN CONTRACT SITUATION
IN LAST YEAR (WITHOUT EXTENSION OPTION)
Knudsen, McKendry, Collins
IN LAST YEAR (WITH EXTENSION OPTION)
Gerken, Ward, Adeyemi, Spence, Emmanuel, C.Smith, Webber, Dawkins
CONTRACTED UNTIL 2020
Skuse, Edwards, Harrison, Roberts, Dozzell, Rowe, Sears, Clements, McGavin, Dobra, Kenlock
CONTRACTED UNTIL 2021
Chambers, Bialkowski, Nsiala, Nolan, Jackson, Huws, Folami, Cotter, Nydam, Drinan, Morris, Wright, Donacien, El Mizouni, Bishop, K Brown, Judge
CONTRACTED UNTIL 2022
Lankester, Woolfenden, Ndaba, Downes
LOANS FOR SEASON
Chalobah, Elder, Keane, Quaner, Bree