Plymouth Argyle boss Steven Schumacher was tight-lipped on a potential move for out-of-contract St Patrick’s Athletic midfielder Alfie Lewis but admitted there is interest.
The Londoner had been linked with a move to Home Park in the summer after his contract with West Ham United expired.
Midfielder Lewis spent the first half of the 2021 season on loan at Richmond Park and opted to make the deal permanent in June until the end of the season.
He made 31 appearances in all competitions, scoring three goals as the Athletic lifted the FAI Cup and finished second in the league behind Shamrock Rovers.
A move closer to home was always the likely next option for the 22-year-old, whose final appearance for the Athletic was in the Cup final at the Aviva last month.
Schumacher was probed on his transfer plans by Plymouth Live on Thursday and confirmed they had tried to sign Lewis in the summer but didn’t elaborate on his plans in this window in this window.
He said: “All I can say on that is that he was a player we highlighted in the summer that we were interested in bringing because we thought he was a good player.
“But he went back to Ireland, and played in Ireland, and that’s where it’s at at the moment. Nothing further.
“He’s someone that we highlighted that we thought is decent and would do a good job for us. That’s that really. There is not much more concrete to confirm.”
Lewis came through the Hammers youth system, the Arsenal supporter having joined his local club at the age of eight.
He played alongside the likes of Declan Rice and Ireland under-21 captain Conor Coventry in the youth ranks.
While Rice was fast-tracked to David Moyes’ senior side and Coventry has had loan spells with Lincoln City and, currently, Peterborough United, Lewis had to be patient.
He jumped at the chance to play men’s football when then-Saints boss Stephen O’Donnell came calling in February, having only played EFL Cup for the Hammers.
Lewis quickly became a mainstay under the similarly cultured O’Donnell and, despite interest from Plymouth and elsewhere in England, signed a short-term deal in June.
Speaking ahead of the Cup final, Lewis said: “[I got] a text from the manager seeing if I wanted to come here on loan.
“I just jumped at it really to come play men’s football at the time. I’ve had a really enjoyable time here.
“I think [O’Donnell] was watching 23s games, saw that I didn’t go on loan in England and text me after that.
“It was going into the unknown. I had never lived away from my family before. It was a little bit scary but I think as the year has gone on I’ve adapted better and really enjoyed my time.”