Aston Villa boss Lambert vows to maintain youth-focused transfer policy

The Villans boss is adamant that the promotion of young players last summer will be employed once again, emphasising the need to undergo a transition as he defends his squad
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is adamant that the club will invest in youth once more as they continue to rebuild their squad ahead of what he admits will be a "really tough" season.

The Scot's first summer since assuming the reins at the Villans involved both a major trimming of the wage bill and an investment in inexperienced side - a policy that, despite prolonged worries, eventually secured them another year in the Premier League.

Lambert cited the high salaries of experienced players as the reason behind his continued investment in untried youth, affirming that it is the only way that the squad can be rebuilt.

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"You have to keep building," he told reporters. "Next year will be really tough again. Finances dictate a lot of stuff, If you go and buy experienced players and names, they command a lot of money.

"I have to keep building this squad. It will have to be rebuilt. It's still in a transitional period. To develop it the way you want - not just the team but the club - you have to implement your own ideas and what you want to do. That's not just on the pitch but off it, too."

The former Norwich City boss also vehemently defended the players brought in under the same policy, suggesting that their value has soared since Lambert gave them a starring role in the Premier League.

"Our philosophy of bringing young lads in ... put it this way, when you bring Matthew Lowton for £1 million, Ashley Westwood for less than that, Yacouba Sylla the same, Christian Benteke - look at their values now," he argued. "Every one of them.

"Brad Guzan was second choice. Andi Weimann - how many games did he play last year? Now he's played a full season. Gabby Agbonlahor has stepped up. Fabian Delph has been here God-knows-how-long and played 30-odd games in the league. Nathan Baker, too.

"You could throw every one of them in with their contribution but their value? I am pretty sure it was healthier than when they came in."