The young defender had a second breakthrough season under Mark Kennedy. His early impetus, making his debut at 16, was halted by an ankle injury and Michael Appleton’s refusal to give him minutes, but all that changed following his spell with Drogheda. He played 15 times for the Drogs and came back a confident player, appearing 40 times across all competitions for the Imps.
His contract has run down, and any potential suitors would have to pay City compensation. That’s not likely to be a small amount, especially given his recent call-up to Ireland’s Under 21 squad.
He’s with his country at the moment, and in an interview with the Irish Independent, he admitted he’s enjoyed his time at Lincoln.
“I was really happy this year with how many games I played,” he said. “I can’t thank Lincoln enough for what they’ve done for me, putting trust in me after coming back from Drogheda and to the manager for playing me in different positions.”
Roughan, who joined the Imps after a special Irish tutor was appointed to allow him to continue his education, confessed he would prefer to play in what many see as his best position.
“I would have liked to play more at centre-back (he was often used at left wing-back) but when you’re keeping clean sheets, you can’t mess up the back three.”
His future is still up in the air, and whilst there’s an offer on the table from the Imps, Roughan isn’t closing the door on a move elsewhere.
“I really enjoyed my time at Lincoln and now it comes down to whatever happens in the next couple of weeks. I trust the people who deal with it. My mam (Charlotte) would be pretty invested in it, she knows what’s best for me. I’d be happy to stay at Lincoln but if anything was to happen in the meantime, that’s my choice. There could be something better out there.
“A football career isn’t long. The average is ten years so you have to make the most of it. I’m going into my fourth year now. I’ve come up against some very good players who have gone to the Premier League or high in the Championship. League One is a very tough league, but you have to aspire to go higher.”
It sounds as if the youngster is hanging on for a Championship offer, which is pretty much as expected. The one thing that may hinder that is the lack of money washing around the Championship, certainly at this stage of the season. It’s possible the saga could run until late summer.
Roughan started 26 League One matches for City last season, coming off the back of a successful spell playing for Drogheda in Ireland. He bagged a couple of goals, one a super finish at Accrington. His form led to him being capped twice for the Under 21s, not including his most recent call-up.