Signing strikers is a summer priority for Lambert... and he wants to keep Keane at Town permanently
PUBLISHED: 15:05 08 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:58 08 April 2019
Paul Lambert sees recruiting strikers as a top priority this summer and would like to do a deal to keep loanee Will Keane at the club full-time.
Keane scored three goals in seven starts for the Blues before missing the last six games with a hamstring injury, and is out of contract with parent club Hull at the end of the season.
The Tigers have the option to extend that deal by a further 12 months but Blues owner Marcus Evans is speaking to the 26-year-old’s representatives. The Blues are also understood to have shown a strong interested in Tranmere striker James Norwood, who has scored 29 goals for the League Two club this season and is also out of contract this summer.
Lambert would not be drawn on the interest in Norwood but, while accepting the finances of any deal for Keane would be tricky as the club drops into League One, admitted it’s a move he would like to make.
“The money side of things plays a big part, there’s no getting away from that and there needs to be a realistic view,” Lambert said.
“I don’t need to see Will further to know he’s a good player because I know exactly what he can do.
“He’s had his injuries in the past, including a bad one with his knee and a hamstring injury with us, but I know he was playing really well here before he got injured.
“He’s scored three goals himself and him getting injured was a blow for us.
EXCLUSIVE: Town tracking Tranmere striker James Norwood
“Will doesn’t need to prove anything to me, I know what he can do and I know Marcus is talking to his agent.
“I think he would be great for us, yeah.”
Whether a deal is done for Keane or not, Lambert is clear that he sees signing at least one striker this summer as a priority.
“Absolutely, I think it’s really important you look at the top end of the pitch,” he said.
“You need goals in your team because you can play great, have great link-up play and have dominance with the ball but you need that scoring instinct.
“It’s a priority that’s for sure.
“We’ve spoken about centre-forwards but a lot of it will be down to finances as well. Are they right fit? Do they want to come? Are they the right age?
“We’ve spoken about certain things but whether they come or not, we’ll have to wait and see.
He continued: “There are a few areas of the field that need a bit of strengthening.
“Forwards are one but there are a few areas of the field where we are a little lightweight and we need to get people in.
“There are areas we need strengthening.”