O’s want to keep Happe for ‘at least another season’

PUBLISHED: 15:00 09 July 2019

Leyton Orient's Dan Happe celebrates with fans at full time after winning the National League (pic: Mark Kerton/PA Images).

Leyton Orient's Dan Happe celebrates with fans at full time after winning the National League (pic: Mark Kerton/PA Images).

PA Archive/PA Images

The 20-year-old defender has been linked with several clubs, but Leyton Orient are understood to have not received any bids yet

Myles Judd of Leyton Orient and Harlow Town's Dejuane Taylor battle for the ball (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo).Myles Judd of Leyton Orient and Harlow Town's Dejuane Taylor battle for the ball (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo).

Ross Embleton believes Dan Happe would benefit from another season at Leyton Orient with bigger clubs eyeing a move for the centre back.

The defender, who came through the O's academy set-up, has caught the eye of several teams since his O's debut in April 2017 at Cambridge United.

Middlesbrough were linked with Happe that summer after Orient's relegation to the National League and his performances in non-league have alerted the likes of Norwich City, Leeds United, Tottenham Hotspur amongst others according to reports.

A London boy, the tall centre back played for Embleton's team during their 5-0 win over Harlow Town at the weekend and is currently in Spain with the squad on a training camp.

Speaking about the prospect, O's interim head coach said: "He's a very good player and it would be naive of me to try and put anybody off.

"You only have to watch him to see what he's capable of. I personally think for Dan's development, being here for at least another season is really going to kick him on to make that big stride and the bigger one when that time comes.

"I think that's certainly something we think is right for Dan. Ultimately, beyond all of that, the one thing that has to happen if any player is going to go anywhere is the bid and what people are willing to pay and what we're going to accept has to be right.

"That will be something we have to cross if it does arrive, but right now he's one of our players and I thought he went about his business at Harlow like he has done since he returned and he looked like the accomplished player we all know Dan is."

While clubs are circling Happe, it's understood no official bids have been made for the defender, but that could change before the end of the summer transfer window.

Fellow academy graduate Myles Judd is another to be linked with a move away from Brisbane Road, but while Coventry City and Portsmouth have been mooted as possible destinations, O's have not received any offers for the popular right-back.

James Dayton, meanwhile, is expected to agree a new contract with the club at some stage this month.

The winger is currently on the sidelines after dislocating his ankle in April, but has been training at Orient's base in Chigwell.

He is technically a free agent after the two-year deal he signed in the summer of 2017 ran out on June 30, but Embleton is confident he will agree to extend his stay in E10 soon.

O's interim head coach added: "James was in the dressing room on Saturday making an impression on the group and that is the type of character he is.

"He has worked hard, relentlessly over the summer even with uncertainly I suppose as to whether his contract was happening or not.

"I am sure he knew more about that than I did, but we will be delighted if and when it gets over the line and for me the sooner it is announced the better.

"We probably won't see the James Dayton we all know on the pitch for a couple of months, but we know he will have a huge impact on what goes on at the club."

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