Norwich City boss Lambert - Leeds United’s Jonny Howson is the best of the best in the Championship
Paul Lambert believes Norwich are signing one of the best players in the Championship after agreeing a deal for Leeds midfielder Jonny Howson.
The 23-year-old was in Norfolk yesterday to undergo a medical, with Lambert confirming personal terms had been agreed following the Canaries' successful transfer bid earlier this week. The City chief admitted he has been a long-time admirer of the current Leeds' captain.
'He is a good footballer. I've known about him for a few years the way he first burst onto the scene,' he said. 'I think he is probably one of the best ones in the Championship, by far. I think he has a lot of attributes and he can only get better if he does sign.
'I think he has been brilliant for them and being the captain of that football club, where the demands are so high, to be captain at such a young age he certainly knows what he is doing. I just think he'll add goals to the midfield – which I think we need. He can do that.
'He gives us a goal threat. (Andrew) Surman has chipped in with a few, so he has, but we need that other threat. (Wes) Hoolahan can create them and the front lads are on fire at the minute, but I definitely think we need something.
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'He'll get better as a player going up a higher level. He'll do great for us. If the lad comes and does for us what I think he can do, then he'll be great. He can get around a football pitch with his energy.'
Howson has been sidelined with a knee injury since early December, but Lambert is not expecting any unforeseen medical hitches to scupper the proposed deal.
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'We've not signed him yet. He is down here at the minute and he is going through the medical, so hopefully everything goes well,' said Lambert, at his pre-match briefing ahead of Chelsea's Premier League visit. 'I'm never quite sure of the timescale. I don't know if it will be today or not. I'm pretty sure it's nearly there (over personal terms). It's just the medical now, but there'll be no problem whatsover (with the injury).
'I know the extent of it. He is doing really fine at the minute and I have no worries on that. His rehab has gone really well and I don't think he is too far away, which is pleasing. He has to be sure in his own head when he is totally fit and if he is, then we'll look to get him involved.'