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'This club has lost left-footed defenders... it was impossible to lose another' - Lambert on new pro Ndaba

PUBLISHED: 19:00 21 February 2019

Corrie Ndaba (inset) follows in the footsteps of Adam Webster and Matt Clarke as left-footed centre-backs at Ipswich Town.

Corrie Ndaba (inset) follows in the footsteps of Adam Webster and Matt Clarke as left-footed centre-backs at Ipswich Town.

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Paul Lambert believes defender Corrie Ndaba can have a big future at Ipswich after tying the youngster down to a professional deal.

Corrie Ndaba has signed his first pro deal at Ipswich Town. Picture: ROSS HALLSCorrie Ndaba has signed his first pro deal at Ipswich Town. Picture: ROSS HALLS

The 19-year-old Irishman is the latest teenager to sign full-time terms with the Blues, following an impressive season in the club’s Under 23 set-up.

Lambert is excited by the fact the central defender is left-footed and believes, as Ndaba matures physically, he can be a real asset.

The Ipswich boss highlighted the fact promising left-footers Adam Webster (Bristol City, 2018) and Matt Clarke (Portsmouth, 2016) were allowed to leave the club and insisted the same could not be allowed to happen with Ndaba.

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Adam Webster left Ipswich Town in the summer to join Bristol City on a four-year deal. Picture: BRISTOL CITYAdam Webster left Ipswich Town in the summer to join Bristol City on a four-year deal. Picture: BRISTOL CITY

“The club lost a couple of left-footed centre-halves, including the lad who went to Bristol City (Webster),” Lambert said.

“We need a left footer because the lad (Matt) Clarke went to Portsmouth as well and is doing really well there. We can’t have that and it’s impossible that we lose another young one who we think has a chance.

“Corrie has got better and better and has trained with us and never let himself down.

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“He’s only a kid, his left foot is good and when he gets a bit more body strength he’s going to be a good one.”

The Ipswich squad next season is likely to include more than a dozen players who have come through the club’s youth system, with Lambert clear that those players need to have a realistic chance of making it into his first-team.

“The club has to have a pathway and there’s no point to bring young players through and for there to be no pathway for them,” Lambert said.

“I think it’s great the club has as many as they’ve got and it bodes well for the future.

Matt Clarke joined Portsmouth on a permanent deal in 2016. Picture: THE NEWSMatt Clarke joined Portsmouth on a permanent deal in 2016. Picture: THE NEWS

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“The club can’t keep loaning players. One or two is okay but five or six blocks the pathway for the young players.

“We have to make the pathway for them. We either have it or we don’t and I’d rather there was a carrot for them to go and get.

“Hopefully they can make it.”

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