Retained List Sees Two Leave Sincil Bank

Credit Graham Burrell

The club’s retained list has dropped, and there are a few surprises.

Two players will depart the club at the end of their contracts. Few would be surprised to see Hakeeb Adelakun leave, and he does so with a decent reputation amongst Imps fans for his character, if not his performances in red and white. However, he’ll also be joined by TJ Eyoma, a decision which has surprised me a little. I felt TJ was a solid squad option, but he’s been used sparingly over the last few months, and that probably indicated he was on his way.

A short statement by the club said: “Everyone at City would like to thank Hakeeb Adelakun and TJ Eyoma for their contributions to the club after confirmation they will leave the Imps when their contracts expire at the end of June.”

Credit Graham Burrell

Of the two, I do feel a little sad at TJ going. He arrived with such fanfare, us apparently pipping Portsmouth to his signature on a day we played Bolton. He’d already played 53 games on loan, with a single goal, and I thought he was going to tear it up here. He’s not had the best of times since then, struggling with form in the first season, but adding a further 95 appearances and four goals.

With a total of 148 outings, he now sits above Richard Butcher (143), Colin Alcide (140), and Ben Futcher (142) in the appearances charts, just below Dean West (147), Kevin Austin (148), and Tony Cunningham (148). It feels odd that he has so many because, in the last three seasons, he’s started just 56 matches – that’s fewer than 20 league starts per campaign. That said, whoever does sign TJ will be getting a solid young player who has the ability to perform in League One, without a doubt.

Credit Graham Burrell

That still leaves a lot of players, and the one most of you might be here for is Lasse Sorensen. As we’ve been saying for a few weeks here on the site, the club had an option on Lasse’s contract, and that option has been taken up. So, unless someone comes in with a stack of paper featuring the King’s head, Lasse will be prowling the left flank once against next season.

The next development is the ‘ongoing conversations’ between the club and five players—Ted Bishop, Danny Mandroiu, and Lewis Montsma—who are out of contract this summer and Hayden Cann and Elicha Ahui, for whom the club has options agreements. This will pique people’s interest across the first three names.

Ted is a player that has divided the fan base in terms of his future. There’s nobody better on his day, but he’s also likely to be a decent earner. With no option on his contract, my guess is we’d like to keep him, but on terms a little softer to us, to mitigate his injury record. The same goes for Lewis – it’s nice the club haven’t simply said ‘thank you and goodbye’, but there’s no doubt if he stays, it will be on reduced terms. However, his play style would suit Skubala’s Imps – I can see those lovely 50-yard crossfield balls being sprayed to Reeco for fun. If Lewis stays, fingers crossed, he will be the same player he was before these injury issues.

Credit Graham Burrell

Danny Mandroiu is a really interesting one. It was my understanding we had an option on his deal, and that may or may not be the case. It could be that we do, but don’t wish to trigger that at the current rate, hence the conversations. It could be that we don’t, and we wish to keep him here. Danny is a player that divides fans. On his day, he’s outstanding, a player with vision well beyond that of most other League One footballers. However, two red cards and matches where he disappears have left him somewhat tainted with some.

Finally, and it goes without saying, Alex Mitchell, Conor McGrandles, Jack Burroughs, and Joe Taylor all return to their parent clubs after the completion of their loan deals. Will we see any of them back? Mitchell, maybe, McGrandles is a possibility, but Joe Taylor is likely to be involved at Luton. Burroughs is clearly a decent lad, but given how little he was used at the end of last season, I’d say there’s no chance of a return.