Reports are emerging linking for loanee Callum Morton with a move to recently-promoted Cheltenham Town.
Morton spent last season on loan at Sincil Bank, and initially, his arrival drew plenty of excitement, and his City career started well. Sadly, injury ruled him out for much of the season and during the run-in, when we needed a presence up front, he struggled to be the solution to our problem. It might be fair to say when he left the club after our Wembley agony, few were clamouring for his return.
In a different set-up, he could thrive and that is exactly what Michael Duff is hoping to offer him at Whaddon Road: a chance to do well. They recently missed out on Exeter striker Ryan Bowman, who opted to join Shrewsbury, and may now turn to Morton who perhaps feels he has a point to prove after a challenging season with the Imps.
He arrived at the Bank at the same time as Alex Palmer, and made his debut as a late sub in the Imps 2-1 victory at Gresty Road against Crewe in the League Cup. A week later he made his Imps’ Football League debut against Oxford. Not long after, he scored his first goal in Lincoln colours, hitting the net in the 90th minute as Bradford City were thrashed 5-0 in the EFL Cup.
In the days after we beat MK Dons 2-1, a game he came off the bench to appear in, Morton suffered an injury to his shoulder in the gym, which eventually required surgery. It was unclear at first what the damage might be, but it eventually transpired he needed surgery and returned to West Brom for rehabilitation. He returned to Lincoln early in February 2021 to finish the final stages of his comeback and become a part of the squad for the League One run-in, with much pressure on his shoulders as Tom Hopper went out of the squad injured.
He scored on his first game back, a depressing 2-1 defeat at home against Fleetwood Town, and again as we drew 1-1 with Sunderland, but was not suited as a direct replacement for Hopper. As the season meandered towards that tough day in London, Morton looked increasingly out of his comfort zone and was an ineffective substitute as we lost to Blackpool.
There is a decent player in Callum Morton, but he never really recovered from his injury, nor was he suited to playing with his back to goal in the false nine role, and it showed. After his decent finish against Sunderland, he struggled to find chances and when he did, he missed some that perhaps should have gone in. I certainly didn’t see a role for him in the Championship this season, and he might feel his year at Lincoln was a lost 12 months in his career, something he may now get a chance to correct at Cheltenham.