'This is a club where he can find his home' - Chambers wants Town to keep striker Keane
PUBLISHED: 06:00 25 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:11 25 April 2019
Captain Luke Chambers wants Ipswich Town to pull out the stops in order to keep striker Will Keane at the club.
Keane, a January loan signing from Hull, has scored three goals in 10 starts since moving to Portman Road but has had his stay in Suffolk disrupted by a hamstring injury.
He returned to the starting line-up for Monday's 1-0 loss to Swansea and added a new dimension to the Blues' attack, with his movement, hold-up play and creativity giving his side a platform to play from in the final third.
Manager Paul Lambert would like to keep Keane at the club full-time, with the Manchester United youth product out of contract at Hull at the end of this season.
Chambers would love the 26-year-old to stay at the club and has used the example of former Blue Martyn Waghorn, who impressed with the Blues and earned a big-money move to Derby, to convince the forward that Ipswich is the place for him to rebuild his injury-hit career.
“Keano is a great lad to have around. He's got tremendous ability but it's about getting him fit, which he knows better than anyone,” Chambers said.
“He probably hasn't played as many games as he would have wanted at any of his clubs. He was doing well here, scoring goals and feeling very comfortable, when he got injured.
“I've said to a couple of lads, including Judgey (Alan Judge), 'You can chase moves, you can chase different clubs and different opportunities, but there aren't many clubs where you are valued by the supporters, your team-mates and your manager'.
“We've had Martyn Waghorn and Joe Garner, who were in and out at Rangers, come to Ipswich and perform tremendously.
“I've said to Will that this is a club where, potentially, you can find your home for the next two or three years.
“The club has shown faith in him by bringing him in when he'd only played one game all season. I'd love him to stay here but I'm not making the decisions.”
Chambers would also like to see defender James Collins remain at the club but, given he's only managed six appearances with the Blues due to injury, acknowledges his fitness will need to be taken into account.
“My feelings towards James are that after playing so many games in his career, to be out for six months and expect to hit the ground running is always going to be difficult,” Chambers said.
“But if we can keep him here I feel that over the summer, when he's had a proper pre-season with us really looking after him, he will be a massive asset for the football club to have, both on and off the pitch.
“He takes a hell of a lot of the pressure off me when I'm playing and I've enjoyed it when we've played alongside each other.
“I think we've had a fairly decent record together but he needs to have the chat with the gaffer and make his decision. I'd imagine that most people who have seen him play would want him around the club.”