Armando Dobra has told EADT that Paul Lambert’s faith was a big part of his decision to snub interest from Leeds United and Southampton in favour of a new contract at Ipswich Town.
You would think that any young footballer in the world right now would jump at the chance to hone his talents under the bespectacled, bucket-perching don of Elland Road that is Marcelo Bielsa.
The former Argentina, Chile and Marseille side transformed Leeds from mid-table mediocrity into the Championship’s standout team in the blinking of an eye, with Kalvin Phillips, Jack Harrison, Ben White and more looking like Premier League footballers-in-waiting.
Southampton, too, have a coach renowned for his ability to turn water into wine – or budding youngsters into established, first-team stars.
See Timo Werner and Naby Keita at RB Leipzig, while Nathan Redmond and Danny Ings have played the best football of their career under Ralph Hasenhuttl at St Mary’s.
But Dobra already has a manager who believes in him at Portman Road and, when a new three-year deal was offered, he was never going to turn it down.
“Now I just want to focus on the football and showing the manager I deserve to play,” says the Albanian forward, who has made ten league appearances under Lambert this season.
“That was a big part of my decision because the club give a lot of chances to their young players and I know that if I train well and perform then I will get my chance to play.
“I’m loving being at the club and I’m really pleased to be staying for longer, so now the aim is to play as many games as possible.
“I’m ready to kick on but that’s up to the manager (Paul Lambert) because he picks the team. If he thinks I’m ready then I’ll give it everything I can. I trust him.”
EADT claimed earlier in the week that Leeds and Southampton had shown an interest in luring Dobra away from Anglia, while Brighton and Hove Albion saw a £500,000 bid rejected in January.
Ipswich have been on a horrible run of results in recent months, dropping from the automatic promotion positions to tenth, and it will be interesting to see whether Dobra has to leave eventually in order to prove himself at a higher level.
In other news, Edu drops transfer-related hint regarding Arsenal