Lambert hails Ayala's impact

Lambert hails Ayala's impact

Published Jan. 10, 2012 1:16 p.m. ET

The 21-year-old, signed from Liverpool a year ago, has finally broken into the first team and is forming a promising partnership in the heart of the City defence with Zak Whitbread.

After a three-month spell out with injury the Spaniard was paired with the USA international for the first time in the 1-1 draw with Fulham and they kept their places in the victories over QPR and Burnley.

"I thought he was very good again against Burnley," Lambert told the East Anglian Daily Times. "For 21 years of age he has slotted in seamlessly as if he has been here for years and years.

"I'm delighted with Dani. It's great for him at his age now to be getting regular first team football and becoming more comfortable playing in front of big crowds.


"He is going to have a massive future in the game. Zak is another quality player. He has been a bit unlucky with injuries here but every time he has been played he has looked really accomplished. I think Dani and him look capable of playing very well together.

Whitbread is also impressed: "I think Dani has done superb."He has had a few months out with injury and he has come in and looks like he has played 200 league games. He has been assured, looked great on the ball, defended well.

"He has worked hard after a nasty injury, which wasn't the greatest of starts for him - but I know how he feels and he has come back, showed character and been spot on."