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Jamal stays! Gareth secures loan extension

1 January 2017

Gareth Ainsworth has kicked off 2017 in style by extending the loan deal of Chelsea goalkeeper Jamal Blackman until the end of the season.

The 23-year-old has excelled with 11 clean sheets in 25 appearances since arriving in August following an injury to first-choice stopper Scott Brown.

Brown - who produced a match-winning performance in the 1-0 win at Cheltenham on Friday night - is likely to complete a loan deal to a fellow Sky Bet League 2 in the coming days, depending on Blackman's recovery from a minor injury sustained in the Boxing Day draw at Plymouth.

Ainsworth said: "Jamal has been first class for us and he has real quality which is well above League 2 level, so it's fantastic for us to be able to keep him for the rest of the season.

"He commands his area superbly, his distribution is outstanding and he's made some saves which are out of this world to help us pick up some valuable points.

"I'd like to think we do things right here when it comes to developing young players and Jamal is another example of someone who's come in, worked hard and improved his game with us.

"Scott was unfortunate to pick up an injury on the first day of the season and by the time he recovered, Jamal was playing extremely well and had earned his place in the team. It's important for Scott to get game time and moving out on loan will enable him to do so.

"He was excellent on Friday night at Cheltenham and it shows the strength of our squad that we have two goalkeepers with such quality.

"There's a lot of work to be done in January to keep this squad as strong as it can be and to give us a real chance of achieving something in the second half of the season. The 500 Club has played a massive part so far and I'd like to thank everyone who's contributed because the fans here can make such a difference."

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