Deep down, I secretly harboured a desire to see Morgan Rogers return on loan this season to link up with Lewis Fiorini in a turbo-charged, Man City driven attack that we could use to fire us to the Championship.
Unless we can find £8m, I don’t think it is going to happen. It seems as though Premier League side Crystal Palace are going to scupper my dream by targeting Rogers in a swoop worth a full £8m. It’s being reported in a number of places, including here at the Daily Hate, New manager Patrick Vieira is allegedly already in talks with Man City, who paid West Brom £4m for his services, with an additional £575,000 having added to that fee based on his achievements.
It is understood Rogers would have a sell-on fee inserted in the transfer, protecting Man City in the event of him becoming a world-class star and moving on for multiple millions. As for us, we just get the kudos of having given him a leg up in the game, after he bagged six goals during his loan spell.
Rogers joined on loan at the start of the January transfer window and went on to appear 28 times for the Imps, scoring six goals. His best spell came in the month between February 14th and March 13th, as he bagged five in eight matches, Oddly, of his Imps goals, only two came in matches that we won, 1-0 against Portsmouth and 3-0 against Crewe. In addition, he claimed assists as we beat MK Dons 4-0, as he was fouled for the penalty Brennan Johnson scored, and for the free-kick Cohen Bramall struck against the post which went down as an own goal.
Being super critical, Rogers did look less effective towards the end of his loan spell, which could have been fatigue from so many games, but he didn’t stand out as a top performer in May when we desperately needed him to perform. Like many of the squad, he disappointed at Wembley when a big performance might have nudged the price Palace have to pay towards the £10m mark, and pushed us to the Championship. Still, defeat wasn’t his fault, it was a collective step too far after a wonderful season of promise.
Whatever happens with the 18-year-old, having him at the club was a pleasure and I’m sure other teams wanting to loan out top stars are aware that two we took on, Johnson and Rogers, have been rated at a combined total of £18m after their spells here. Michael Appleton develops players and whilst initially it’s not to our benefit, in the long term it will be. Clubs are sure to hold Lincoln City in high regard when it comes to letting players join us, and free agents released from premier League Under 18 squads might also see a clear pathway through our squad and back into the top flight.
I’m not going to be too critical of Palace ruining my dream though – by not appointing Steve Cooper as manager, it meant the apparent approach by Swansea to snaffle Michael away was nothing more than scurrilous press rumours! Cheers Vieira.