The Imps Contract Situation This Summer & Squad Analysis For 2023/24

Credit Graham Burrell

Who goes, who stays? it’s always a big question over the summer, and thanks to a lot of smoke and mirrors, the situation has never been less clear than it is today.

The rise of ‘long term’ contracts means that in many instances, we’re guessing who is chasing a new deal and who is safe for another season. There’s plenty of ambiguity around some of our players, but we’re going to try and clear that up. In this article we’ll look at who we know will be going, who we know will be staying, and those in the No Man’s Land in the middle.

We’ll be leaning a little on the website Transfermrkt, but not too much, as they’re often wide of the mark. To begin with, let’s look at those we have out on loan.

Credit Graham Burrell

Players Out On loan

Elicha Ahui (On loan at Drogheda), Jay Benn (On loan at Bohemians), Hayden Cann (On loan at Gainsborough Trinity), Oisin Gallagher (On loan at Barwell), Morgan Worsfold-Gregg (on loan at Cleethorpes Town), Hakeeb Adelakun (On loan at Gillingham), Freddie Draper (On loan at Drogheda), Charlie Kendall (On loan at Bromley)

I think it is fair to assume a number of these young players will be a part of the squad next season in various forms. For instance, Jay Benn, Elicha Ahui and Freddie Draper should all benefit from their spell in Ireland and come back ready to challenge for a first-team squad place, and Ahui in particular is raising eyebrows across the Irish Sea. Gallagher and Worsfold-Gregg may be a second loan away from the first team, whilst Charlie Kendall’s difficult year has continued at Bromley following his recent red card after coming on as a sub. However, you’d expect all of those players to be contracted, and most were announced as penning ‘long term’ contracts.

Haks is the only player I figure won’t be with us next season. He hasn’t been able to get into Gillingham’s side, at the foot of League Two, and there’s seemingly no future for him here. He also penned a ‘long-term’ deal, which I usually take to be around two-and-a-half or three years. If that’s the case, he could have another year left, but I’d be shocked if he was a part of the squad going into next season.

Credit Graham Burrell

Players Set To Leave After Loans

Carl Rushworth (On Loan from Brighton and Hove Albon), Harry Boyes (On loan from Sheffield United), Tashan Oakley-Boothe (On loan from Stoke City), Matty Virtue (On loan from Blackpool), Jack Diamond (On loan from Sunderland), Luke Plange (On loan from Crystal Palace), Mide Shodipo (On Loan from QPR)

All of the players listed above are here on loan, and almost all of them will be going back to their parent clubs. I can’t see us signing Carl Rushworth again, he’s definitely Championship bound, and whilst Matty Virtue would seemingly like to stay, Blackpool hold an option and will almost certainly exercise it, if only to get a fee when they sell him on. The others are unlikely to move – Plange has a future at Palace, or at least will be loaned out again, whilst Oakley-Boothe is seemingly finished at Stoke. Boyes was offered a new Sheff Utd deal not long back and will probably be back out on loan next season, whilst Jack Diamond’s future is up in the air, but he;’s unlikely to be back here. Finally, Mide Shodipo could have a route back into the QPR side as they’ve now got a new manager, but Imps’ fans have seen nothing to suggest that he’s worthy of pursuing next season, so far at least.