Michael Appleton has seemingly closed the door on Aaron Lewis, confirming the right-back will not be playing football for the Imps again.
Lewis, who recently returned from a loan spell with Newport, was not named on the bench this week against Accrington, a move which would have seen him unable to play for another club this season. whilst speculation has mounted he may not have a future at Lincoln City, the manager has confirmed that with comments following the Accrington game.
“It’s important for him (Lewis) to get himself a move. He needs to go and play football now,” he told local media.
“It’s a big month for him because he’s not going to get any opportunities here. We’ve got players in those positions that we’re comfortable with, so it’s important he goes out and plays football.”
Michael has never pulled punches with players and it does seem once you are out, you are out (ask Ben Coker, for instance). Some might not like the forthright approach, but at least players are under no illusions where they stand in the grand scheme of things.
Lewis is something of a fan favourite amongst certain Imps supporters, having made an impressive debut as we downed Huddersfield in the League Cup last season. He followed that up with a strong outing against Everton in the League Cup, but was unable to kick on when Michael arrived. That wasn’t through a lack of opportunity though – Michael was the manager who gave him a proper contract, rather than the week-to-week deal he was on, plus it was Michael who handed him his first league outing, as a late sub against Bolton, before giving him another runout at Accrington as we lost 4-3.
However, that promise has not lead to further outings in the first team, although he has been hampered by a series of niggly injuries which have kept him out of the side. Indeed, when I spoke to Michael earlier in the season, he told me there were numerous occasions where Aaron was in a squad last season, only for him to pick up a knock or tweak a problem during the week. Sadly for the 22-year-old, it appears those injuries, plus the lack of action during his loan spell with Newport, have convinced the manager he has no role to play at the club.
With TJ Eyoma in fine form, Robbie Gotts knocking on the door at right-back and Harry Anderson able to fill in too, it does appear as though Aaron would be the fourth choice. In terms of a pro budget, four right-backs simply do not make commercial sense, not when we have one number nine, for instance. Young Aaron is certainly a victim of the squad’s success, a squad which has kicked on whilst he has been unable to do so. That said, there will surely be a team willing to take a punt on a young player with Wales under-21 experience, and who was willing to play here for nothing in the early part of his career.