'If we sold one of the younger ones it's a different dynamic' - Lambert says cashing in on Downes or Woolfenden is possible
PUBLISHED: 11:33 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:40 10 January 2020
Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert has spoken a lot about the need to 'sell to buy' heading into this January transfer window. STUART WATSON asked him directly about whether cashing in on rising young stars Flynn Downes and Luke Woolfenden would tempt him.
Q: You've said a few times that you're in a sell to buy scenario...
A: We don't have the finances to go out and do major, major things. For anything of significance, yeah, we'd have to sell.
If money came in, dear oh dear, you would go really heavy and go for lads who you think can do it.
But in this moment that isn't there and that's totally fine. We'll try and do little things but we can't do half a million or anything like that.
There are some young ones there you could sell for a hell of a lot of money but somebody has to want them.
Q: This is your third transfer window now at the club. You said earlier that sometimes dressing rooms need a shake-up. Do you feel like this dressing room needs a shake-up?
A: When you're sitting in a decent position in the table you've got to try and freshen it up. I think that's important.
There might be one or two who maybe move on and we need to get one or two in ourselves if we can. If that's possible we'll try and change it and give them a help. We'll see what happens.
The only player we've actually bought is Kane (Vincent-Young) and he's been unbelievable. Losing that guy has been a major blow. The rest of the signings have been loans and frees.
All the guys that have come in have done well for us. We just need to put it all together.
If we sold one of the younger ones then it's a different dynamic to a lot of things. Marcus (Evans) can only do what he can do. He can't give you something that's not there.
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Q: Given the restrictions on finances, would selling a player for good money - and it's obvious the ones we're talking about, Luke Woolfenden and Flynn Downes - tempt you if that meant you could go and invest that money in the level of player that you want?
A: The only way you would do that is if you knew, a hundred per cent, that the money was coming back into the football club... or the team. It's the only way you could do it.
The lads you've just mentioned there, nobody knows what the value is. Are they worth, I don't know, with the way football is going… 20 or 30 million?
The Championship is what the Premier League was 10/15 years ago with the level of money that's there. Look at my old club Stoke, an incredible club, sitting just outside the relegation zone. Nobody saw that, never in a million years.
You can only buy what you can buy. If you've got an asset there that somebody wants to come in and buy, in the modern day game it doesn't matter who you are. If the money is there then people can move.
Q: This club has sold homegrown players in the past for big money, Kieron Dyer would be a prime example, with that money given to the manager to go out and sign three or four players who enabled the club to move to the next level. Would that strategy enable you to take this club to the next level?
A: Yeah, that's what's got to happen. I think Marcus has said that himself. We have to look at something like that and try.
But you're only worth what somebody is willing to pay for you.
Q: So do you think that would be likely this month?
A: Ideally I wouldn't want to lose those guys, the ones you've just mentioned there, and I'm only going by the names you've got there. I'm talking about any guys. If somebody came in with big money then it's a decision the football club has to make. It might be 'okay, we sell one of our better guys and we go and buy three or four in that have played at these levels *indicates a high marker with hand*'. That's the way it will work.
Q: Have you got a list of targets in mind for different scenarios? If good money did come in, are you ready to go to 'List A' and move on players you really want?
A: Aye, there are ones I'd try and get. But the realism of it is that the ones I want might not be affordable for here. That's the realism of that scenario.