‘It could be great for him’ - Lambert hopes El Mizouni can follow in Downes and Woolfenden’s footsteps
PUBLISHED: 12:06 24 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:51 24 January 2020
Paul Lambert is hopeful Idris El Mizouni will follow in the footsteps of Flynn Downes and Luke Woolfenden and benefit greatly from his loan move to League Two.
The one-cap Tunisian international will spend the rest of the season at Cambridge United, where Lambert hopes regular game-time and an exposure to the realities of men's football will help the 18-year-old progress.
Downes spent the first five months of 2018 at Luton, winning promotion in the process, while Luke Woolfenden was with Swindon for the whole of last season, with those two now first-team regulars being linked with Premier League moves.
Lambert was, and remains, in two minds about whether or not loaning his creative midfielder out is a good idea but is hopeful he will return to Portman Road in the summer a better player.
"There's still part of me thinking about what the right thing is, but the right thing for him is to go out and play men's football and that's the right thing for the club," Lambert said.
"All-round I think that was the best decision even though part of me is thinking 'could he do something here in this moment'.
"I think long-term, for his development, he needs to play men's football.
"It could be great for him because it shows him another side of the game and a good physicality for it.
"The big thing for me is that he's just down the road and he's with a good guy in Colin (Calderwood), so I'm happy for that to happen and I hope he earns the right to get in the team, first and foremost.
"The football will be a great experience for him but the other side of it will be great too because, maybe, the facilities are not as good and then there's the reality of him being out there that might come down on him.
"They (Downes and Woolfenden) show the benefit of it and I don't think Under 23 is the right thing for them."
Lambert would consider a similar loan deal for Armando Dobra but insisted there was no possibility of Andre Dozzell moving away from the club on a temporary basis.
"Dobra's another one because he's in the same category as Idris in that they're too good for Under 23 football and needs to play with men."
"Andre's ahead of Idris in that at the moment and he's done well for us when he's played.
"I wouldn't let that happen."