Lambert was on Friday night poised to complete his summer business with a double swoop for Genk striker Christian Benteke and Crewe captain Ashley Westwood, adding to the arrivals of Ron Vlaar, Joe Bennett, Matthew Lowton, Jordan Bowery and Karim El Ahmadi.
Bennett is the only player to have played in the top flight – with just one
appearance as a substitute for Middlesbrough as a 19 year-old – and
Lambert’s determination to buy young talent from the lower leagues has
increased fears that
Lambert’s attempts to sign Fulham striker Clint Dempsey collapsed but the Scot, who operated a similar policy at former club Norwich, insists Villa’s kids will not be down among the dead men this season.
He said: “I have a great belief that the young lads can do it. I have no trepidation that they won’t do it, none whatsoever. I had exactly the same question last year and the Norwich lads surpassed everything. I don’t have any fears about them. I’m trying to give them the confidence to go and play and do as well as they can. Do I have any fears about being in a relegation battle? No. There is no pressure from Randy [Lerner, Villa’s chairman] to go and target young players, the decision is mine – every football decision is mine.”
Stoke City manager Tony Pulis sealed a £4 million deal for Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam, while former Manchester United striker Michael Owen was still a possibility ahead of the deadline.
Adam will be given the chance to rebuild his career after being told he was surplus to requirements at Anfield by Brendan Rodgers. He said: “When a new manager comes in he wants to change the way he feels he wants to play, that’s the way it goes.
“I have a lot of respect for Liverpool and the people that brought me there, Kenny Dalglish and Damien Comolli. I owe them a lot.
“I respect Brendan Rodgers and what he does, he’s a top manager. Hopefully they do well but I’m looking forward to getting a Stoke shirt on.”