Paul Lambert insists he wouldn’t stand in Flynn Downes’ way if Crystal Palace returned for the Ipswich Town midfielder in 2021, speaking to TWTD.
With the Eagles looking to inject some youth into an ageing squad, it didn’t take long before the pride of Portman Road emerged as one of their top transfer targets during the summer.
But with Crystal Palace failing to meet Ipswich’s price tag, Downes was forced to stay in League One rather than join Eberechi Eze and Nathan Ferguson in the top flight.
According to reports from Anglia, Palace offered £1.6 million for the technically gifted midfielder.
Ipswich, however, who have won five of their first eight games in 2020/21, wanted closer to £4 million for Downes (Standard).
“The money (offered by Palace) wasn’t good, the money was nowhere near good enough. The bid itself was absolutely nowhere near,” Lambert says when asked about Palace’s bid for Downes.
“But if they came in with an offer that was incredible and Flynn went, then it would be brilliant for Flynn. I’m not going to sit here and deny a young kid the chance to go into the Premier League or anything like that, but the money had to be right for the football club.
“Flynn did great for us and if the club got an incredible offer, then I think the club would thank him for his efforts and he goes and tries to be what hopefully he’s going to turn out to be.
“This club can’t stand in a young kid’s way if the money’s really, really good.”
With a knee injury potentially set to keep Downes on the sidelines for another couple of weeks, it remains to be seen whether Crystal Palace will return for the 21-year-old as soon as January.
The highly rated player would certainly provide thrust to an Eagles midfield that’s high on experience and organisation but lacking in creativity.
Crystal Palace’s record signings
Christian Benteke – £27 million
Mamadou Sakho – £22 million
Eberechi Eze – £19.5 million
Patrick van Aanholt – £14 million
Andros Townsend – £13 million