Lincoln City defender Sean Roughan will not be moving to Chelsea or Southampton, despite having trials with both last season.
The 17-year-old burst onto the scene at the beginning of last season, but has struggled for game time since we were thrashed 3-1 by Portsmouth back in the Autumn. Since that game, he has made just two EFL Trophy outings, and an appearance in the FA Cup, but has been attracting serious interest from above.
He went for a short trial with Southampton, after which Michael said he wouldn’t be allowed to simply go off around lots of different clubs. However, shortly after Chelsea offered him a trial, which he also attended. it seems that for now, neither side will be following up on their interest, with Lincolnshire Live reporting they will not be making a move for him.
The young Irish defender joined the Imps academy from Pheonix FC in Ireland and is a hugely exciting prospect, able to play in the centre of defence or at left-back. He signed a professional deal at the age of 16 last summer and made his Imps debut in the 2-1 EFL Cup win at Crewe at the beginning of the 20/21 season, adding his Football League debut a week later against Oxford United, the Imps winning 2-0.
His capture was seen as something of a coup by DoF Jez George, who said: “This is a fantastic moment for Sean and a proud one for his family, who have supported him brilliantly since he left Ireland to join us last July. Sean made great progress throughout last season and we feel that he is a player of real potential, hence offering him a professional contract at the earliest possible opportunity. We are absolutely delighted that he has trusted us with his continued development and committed his future to Lincoln City.”
At the tail end of the year, he earned his first Ireland Under 21 international call-up at the age of just 17. With all this potential, it does seem strange that he isn’t being given more opportunities. Hopefully, if we cannot offer him first-team football, we can find a League Two club willing to expose him to some senior experience and aid his development, because I feel there is a player there waiting to hit the big time, and we must nurture him correctly to prove the academy model works, not least to the scholars currently in the setup.