‘I had more than a tear in my eye’ - Farke on Lewis move and his thoughts on further City exits
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Daniel Farke had a ‘tear in his eye’ at Jamal Lewis’s Newcastle sale but does not expect a transfer window exodus of Norwich City’s best talent.
Farke accepted the business case for the Northern Irish international’s initial £15m move and also knows it will do nothing to halt speculation around Max Aarons, Ben Godfrey or Todd Cantwell in the closing weeks of the summer transfer trading.
“We are prepared for speculation until the window closes. The first weeks will be a bit tricky,” he said. “You want them to focus on the games and the training but we know the next three or four weeks can be influenced by other things. With Max, Ben or Todd they are top lads, top characters and I don’t have the feeling they are carried away by the speculation.
“Then when October comes we don’t have to speak about this topic.
“We are clear in our thoughts. We won’t sell unless we get a crazy offer that means we have to sell for business reasons. We don’t want to sell anyone. There are no better people to make those decisions than Stuart Webber, the owners and the board.”
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Lewis headed to the north-east with Farke’s blessing.
“It is a big move for Jamal to go to such a club with a big reputation. Congratulations to him,” he said. “There are many reasons we can be proud of him. He is an academy product and it is proof of our way. We are a self-funding club so at points we have to sell our better players. For me as a head coach it does not help.
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“I had more than just one tear in my eye.
“When we were promoted we had the best left back in the whole league so I would have liked to start again in the Championship with the best left full back in the league.
“Others have to step up. We have to develop the next players. With Jamal you had more of a guarantee. He proved he could play 46 games in a row on this level. That was one of the reasons we didn’t accept Liverpool’s offer. We felt he was worth much more.
“The key people in the club had to make another decision for a different price. Jamal was also desperate to move.
“We wish him all the best. With Xavi Quintilla we have a replacement on this level who now has to prove himself. We can’t guarantee he is on Jamal’s level now. Maybe one day and who knows better.”
Lewis’ exit was the latest twist in a squad makeover that is also likely to see Moritz Leitner, Tom Trybull and Josip Drmic move on.
“We are transparent in our messaging. We have had to make tough decisions,” said Farke. “Moritz and Tom were part of the Championship title winning squad. But to bring in fresh blood you have to create some space.
“That is for Stuart and the agents of the players. Nothing to report.
“They are training individually or sometimes with our younger group. Not the first team.”