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‘I’ve not played with boys that good before... it will be hard to hold on to them’ - Wilson on young duo

PUBLISHED: 13:04 23 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:14 23 January 2020

James Wilson believes Ipswich will struggle to hold on to Flynn Downes and Luke Woolfenden in the long-term. Picture: ARCHANT

James Wilson believes Ipswich will struggle to hold on to Flynn Downes and Luke Woolfenden in the long-term. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Ipswich Town central defender James Wilson says he’s never played with young players as talented as Flynn Downes and Luke Woolfenden.

Flynn Downes pictured during Town's 4-1 win over Accrington Stanley Photo: ROSS HALLSFlynn Downes pictured during Town's 4-1 win over Accrington Stanley Photo: ROSS HALLS

The two academy graduates have been leading lights for the Blues so far this season, with their displays attracting the attention of clubs higher up the football pyramid.

West Ham are said to be keen on Downes while Sheffield United continue to track Woolfenden, with Wilson admitting it will be extremely difficult for Ipswich to keep hold of two players who have come through the ranks at Portman Road. "They still have a lot to learn but those two can be as good as they want to be," Wilson said.

"I have not played with boys their age that good before. Don't tell them that though, please!

"They have a hunger about them, which is great and they don't seem fazed by anything. We know there are expectations on the team this season but they will be playing with a lot more expectations on them than now as they progress in their careers.

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"They have incredible potential and it will be hard for us to hold on to them the way the game is now."

When asked about the future of the pair, manager Paul Lambert has repeatedly insisted he has no desire to sell but admitted that decision may ultimately be out of his hands should a significant offer be made for either of their services.

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"If somebody came in with £20million or whatever it is that's one thing you can't ever stop," he said recently.

"We're not in a position to turn down that kind of money. It's impossible.

"If that happens it happens but hopefully it doesn't because they're playing really well."

Speaking after last weekend's game at Tranmere, Downes said: "Yeah, I'll be here. I've got to help the Town get promoted.

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"That's the focus at the minute and I just want to get promotion and nothing else. That's that.

"That's where my head is at the minute. Our goal is to get promoted and if we don't it will feel like a failure.

"He (manager Paul Lambert) has spoken to me about it (transfer interest) and it's not really something I like to talk about because I just want to focus on my football here.

"It is what it is - some people listen to it and some people don't and I just want to get on with it.

"I'm not the kind of boy who gets carried away by that and my main focus is on Ipswich."


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