Date: 3rd April 2019 at 3:18pm
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As we enter the final six games of the season we find ourselves with a whole host of players ready to leave the club on a free transfer this summer.

Whilst we still don’t know what league we are in its difficult to comment but for a few of them it has no bearing on whether we are in League 1 or League 2 as to our view on whether they stay or go.

We need to start a fresh regardless of the division as some of them have just not made the cut or have just got used to that losing mentality.

There are eighteen players due to leave the club this summer…we look at those now.

Chris Dunn

There is no doubt that when he has started he has shown some glimpses that he is capable however he has not challenged Liam Roberts for the number 1 jersey as much as people expected and at the wrong end of his playing career you would hope a younger keeper will be more beneficial.

Verdict – Release

Joe Slinn

Seems like he has had a decent loan spell away from the club and has now been drafted onto the substitutes bench. He is still young and wont cost much, would keep him as third choice next season.

Verdict – Keep

Nicky Devlin

Rumoured to be on a higher wage compared to some and with Cameron Norman in the squad it really is difficult to keep two right backs at the club when wages could be used elsewhere. Currently Devo is a better right back than Norman and does give everything when he is wearing the shirt. If we do go down then powers that be might be forcing his exit more so than those that do want him to stick around. However hes a valuable player to have around the squad and would be the only player of this current defence to keep.

Verdict – Keep

Jon Guthrie

He has played well in handful of games but if Dan Scarr is seen as the future of our defence then Guthrie cannot be alongside him. We need someone who is able to communicate more vocally and someone who isnt afraid to put his foot in when it matters. Guthrie has also been the constant in a very poor Walsall defence and previously was also a constant in a very poor Crewe defence. Regardless of whether we are in League 1 or League 2, Guthrie has to move on for me.

Verdict – Release

Dan Vann

Hasn’t come through as quickly as some envisaged and has been dropped down to fourth/fifth choice now with Johnson and Fitzwater coming in on loan. Seems Keates does not think Vann has made the progression and unless another season long loan is in the offering then it maybe time for Dan to move on.

Verdict – Release

Luke Leahy

Question marks have been raised about his defensive qualities in the past two years which has improved at times. You cannot fault him going forwards with his ability to score goals and create in the final third however he does leave us exposed quite often. Like Devlin he is rumoured to be on a higher than normal wage for a full back at Walsall and with clubs sniffing around him its probably in the best interests of both player and club that he does move on.

Verdict – Release

Callum Cockerill-Mollet

Still has the ability to be a good full back and may get more of a chance if Leahy departs. Would keep him as back up to any potential incoming.

Verdict – Keep

Adam Chambers

What can we say about Chambers. He has been a true professional during his career here and has stuck around when most of that side departed. You can count on one hand how many bad games Chambers has had in the eight year stint at the club however injuries have finally taken its toll on the stalwart. He will more than likely retire this summer but I hope he is kept on within the club in a coaching capacity.

Verdict – Release

Isaiah Osbourne

When he returned to the club it seemed as a perfect fit for our midfield. However Osbourne has failed to perform on a consistent basis and has often found Kinsella, Edwards and Dobson ahead of him in the pecking order. He is far from the player we had originally.

Verdict – Release

Liam Kinsella

How on earth hasn’t he been offered a contract yet?! The club prides itself on supposedly having a long term plan but with Kinsella it just beggers belief that someone up for player of the season award and someone who is still young and raw could be overlooked with a new deal. Kinsella has openly admitted he wants to stay so give him a contract now!

Verdict – Keep

Joe Edwards – option for a further year

Edwards has an option in the clubs favour for an additional year and more often than not we exercise that option. Had he been on a contract which expired this summer then there would be pro’s on his departure however with Chambers set to depart we still need that knowledge and know-how in midfield and around the club.

Verdict – Keep

Jordon Sangha

Hasn’t pushed on with his development and been on the bench whilst on loan.

Verdict – Release

Zeli Ismail

Inconsistent and infuriating. Zeli has the ability which he has shown on a handful of occasions however like Bury and Wolves before that his performances are very few and far between. He will be one of our higher earners and with Blackett-Taylor out of contract this summer I would be looking to sign him up and develop him more than offering Ismail a new deal.

Verdict – Release

Maz Kouhyar

Given the dreadful news about his knee injury today he will remain at the club for his rehabilitation period it would seem. We have done this previously with a few of our youngsters and Maz is probably one of the few youngsters we have that does have the ability and a drop down to League 2 may reignite his career.

Verdict – Keep

Tobias Hayles-Doherty

Hasn’t pushed on with his development and been on the bench whilst on loan.

Verdict – Release

Omar Mussa – option for a further year

Haven’t seen much of him to comment. Seems Keates likes him and seems he enjoys being here so I would expect his contract to be extended and he spends next season out on loan.

Verdict – Keep

Kieron Morris

If I was manager then he wouldn’t be out on loan. We lack quality since the departure of Ginnelly and injury to Jarvis but it does seem to be a case of face doesn’t fit at his boyhood club anymore. Should we be relegated then he would be good enough for League 2 and if we stopped up he would be good enough as backup. Should Keates leave then Morris should be staying but whilst Deano is here its certain Morris will leave this summer.

Verdict – Release

Dylan Parker

Hasn’t pushed on with his development and been on the bench whilst on loan.

Verdict – Release

So what do you make of that?

We would look to release eleven and keep seven. One of the seven is injured and will require rehabilitation, two have option of a second year which we normally offer so technically that leaves just four of the eighteen that we would keep based on their ability and performances.

This squad has had a losing mentality for the past two and half years, we need to restart the club this summer.