Lambert lays down the challenge to Matt Lowton

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has challenged Matt Lowton to build on his positive first season at the club.

Matt Lowton was one of the club’s best young players last season in a difficult campaign having just arrived from Sheffield United.

He was a key component in the Aston Villa back four and someone who will be crucial next season but Paul Lambert has definitely just shot himself in the foot with praise for the 24-year-old.

“I am pretty sure the praise he's been getting is terrific for Matty himself but the most important thing is you don't rest on that. It's important you do it year after year after year,” he told reporters.

The problem with that consistency is that there are already big teams interested in him and that increases the chances of a big money bid for him at some point in the near future.

Arsenal have already been mentioned in several reports as a possible destination and it could be very difficult for Aston Villa to resist a big offer so early on during his career at the club.

Lambert could have better approached the issue of Lowton’s superb form and consistency last season by effectively not saying anything because if clubs didn’t know what a good defender he was before, they certainly know now.

“Once you start to do that, make a right name for yourself and start to win things and start to progress your career, then people can say things. He's an unassuming young lad. He's fitted in really well,” he added.

Villa could now be facing a situation similar to what Everton have had to endure over the last few years with Leighton Baines, which means regularly having to deal with one of their best defenders and their best full back.

If he continues his form, each time a transfer window comes round, there is going to be interest and it’s only going to intensify if any of the big clubs in England and possibly Europe are looking for a decent right back.

Lambert’s comments about winning things are also intriguing because Villa’s chances of domestic success at the moment are a little bit of a lottery to gauge.

The club can compete in any one-off match situation against the bigger teams in England but it’s a big ask for them to produce the sort of consistency straight away which was lacking last season.

Professional players are always after trophies and sooner or later Lowton may start to question whether that’s something Aston Villa can deliver, but Lambert is right he has to prove himself further first.Lambert l

For now the club and the fans don’t have to worry because Lambert seems very protective over his younger players but further repeats of these positive comments will only encourage teams to start throwing money at the club.

Will Lowton stay at Villa for the next few years? Would you be surprised if a club bought him this summer?

image: © Ben Sutherland

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