Woolfenden staying at Swindon... but Lambert admits he could still recall defender from loan
PUBLISHED: 15:00 10 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:50 10 January 2019
Luke Woolfenden is set to remain on loan at Swindon Town but Ipswich boss Paul Lambert says he may considering recalling the youngster before the end of January.
The 20-year-old has made 21 appearances for the League Two side during his temporary stay in Wiltshire, becoming a vital component of the Swindon defence under former Ipswich loanee Richie Wellens.
Lambert has taken a look at Woolfenden in training this week and, despite being impressed with what he saw, has opted to allow the defender to remain at the County Ground.
The Ipswich boss has admitted he could still recall Woolfenden, though.
“I’ve watched him in training during the last couple of days but I have to be fair to Swindon as well, because they were playing him,” Lambert said.
“Luke’s going back to Swindon but I also have the option to bring him back before the end of the window if I feel I need him.
“In time I think he will be a very good player. He has the stature to be a very good defender but he’s still a kid in football terms.”
Speaking to this newspaper yesterday, Swindon boss Wellens admitted Woolfenden’s immediate future was out of his hands.
He said: “He’s an Ipswich player and Paul Lambert is trying to find out about his team.
“He’s never seen Luke play so we have to respect the fact he wants to see him in training and get a good look at what he can do. He’ll make a decision and we have to go by that.
“If they are able to get players in the meantime, then great, but if not then they will know exactly what Luke is. Paul will get a good close look at him.”
Wellens has been impressed with Woolfenden’s improvement during his eight weeks in the job at the County Ground, with the majority of his football coming at centre-back having spent some time at right-back under former Robins boss Phil Brown.
“His improvement over the last eight weeks has been big and he has all the attributes in terms of his physicality and his quickness,” he said. “He reads the game well.
“He has things he needs to improve upon of course but he’s still a baby in terms of playing centre-half. He needs to be more physical for the Championship and maybe needs to make that first contact with a striker.
“He’s a really good kid as well.”