The Imps have handed a new deal to defender Lewis Montsma, currently sidelined with an ACL injury.
The popular Dutch defender was stretchered off during our 2-0 victory against Oxford earlier this year, and is expected to be out beyond the start of next season. He recently had surgery to correct the damage, another important step on the long road to rehabilitation.
Prior to his injury, the goalscoring defender had been a reported target for a number of bigger clubs, and his name had been mentioned when discussing players we might lose this transfer window. That injury put paid to any move, but it hasn’t damaged the club’s unswerving belief in his ability; he’s penned a deal that runs until the summer of 2024.
Without sounding mercenary, it is a good time for both player and club to put a deal on the table. Had Lewis not got injured, interest in him would have been high over the summer, and there’s every likelihood he could have had his head turned with a move up a division. His injury presented the opportunity not only for us to tie him to the club, but also for him to have a more secure future. Football can change very quickly, and the fact we’ve pulled the deal out now is telling in my eyes. It shows a loyalty to the player, but also protects us when he is back and playing.
Of course, everyone would have preferred not to have had him pen the deal in this manner, almost under the table at a time of immense stress, but it does prove (in my eyes at least) that we have a player-centric ethos at the club that does look after individuals. We could have let his contract run down, see how he rehabilitates and maybe low-balled an offer when he began to come back. I’ve seen it happen before, clubs do often disregard a player when they’re injured. It’s good to see we’ve done things in such a way Lewis has one less worry as he looks to the future.
Montsma started his career with Dutch top-flight side Heerenveen, before a move to Cambur. He didn’t make an appearance for either, instead moving to Dordrecht which is where he has developed as a player. He made his first-team debut in August 2018 against NEC and impressed with a number of dominant displays. He joined City in the summer of 2020, and immediately made himself a fan favourite with goals aplenty, including a late winner against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road.