One Out: Left Back Departs Sincil Bank

Credit Graham Burrell

The Imps have today seen left-back Max Melbourne head out on loan to Stevenage until January.

It’s perhaps reflective of the fact we’re close to signing a new left-back, given that Tayo Edun has also been linked with a move away from the club. Max spent time out on loan with Walsall last season, but came back into the fold over the summer as we were (and still are) hit by injuries. However, there is obviously a feeling we can now cope without Max, who joins former Imps Bruno Andrade and Ben Coker at the Lamex.

It might seem a little harsh on Max, who had seemingly come in from the cold after being told he could find another club at the tail end of last season. Sadly, whilst he has filled a gap, his performances have been adequate, not earth-shattering, and that’s led to his departure today. I had a feeling when he joined Walsall we’d seen the last of him in a City shirt, and I was wrong.

Courtesy of Graham Burrell

I have a feeling that this time, I might just be right in saying the same thing. Director of Football, Jez George, confirmed that opinions, saying “This loan move is a great opportunity for Max to get more regular first team football.

“Despite starting four league games this season, we now have Lewis Montsma fully fit after a disrupted pre-season, Joe Walsh on course to return to fitness by the end of next month and have signed TJ Eyoma on a permanent transfer from Tottenham Hotspur, so Max’s potential game time with the club moving forward would be limited.

“Max is also entering the final year of his contract, so this loan will help him try to secure an option for himself beyond this season, which he knows will be away from Lincoln.” The transfer window might not ‘slam’ shut every year, but the Lincoln City door has seemingly closed firmly behind Max.

Max initially joined the club on loan in the summer of 2019, coming in from West Brom under Danny Cowley. He wasn’t given any game time by our former manager, but he was rewarded with a debut on the EFL Trophy against Manchester United Under 21s in Michael’s first home game in charge. He looked set to replace Harry Toffolo as our first-choice left-back when Huddersfield came calling, but Tayo Edun got the nod towards the end of the aborted 2019/20 season.

Credit Graham Burrell

Last season, Max struggled early with injuries, and by the time he was fit, Sean Roughan and Tayo Edun were ahead of him. He joined Walsall in January, impressing there, but saw the door shut on him at Sincil Bank when Cohen Bramall arrived. The injuries to our centre backs saw him partner Adam Jackson for the opening handful of matches, but confusion between him and Josh Griffiths against Wycombe led to their winning goal, and since then it’s looked increasingly likely he’d head out, one way or another.

We wish Max all the best in the future.