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DIRECTOR OF FOOTBALL: There's nothing concrete

David Holdsworth on Jon Mellish and contract extensions

19 January 2021

The emergence of Jon Mellish this season has been one of the many highlights United fans have been able to enjoy, but even the confident defender-turned-midfielder couldn’t have predicted that the first half of his season would have brought a 12-goal haul and a trail of scouts who have driven up and down the country to check out what all the fuss has been about.

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Hand-in-hand with that excitement comes the inevitable rumours, and director of football David Holdsworth confirmed this week that there has indeed been some interest, albeit with nothing firm tabled.

“I spoke to Jon last week about it all, there’s nothing concrete,” he said. “People will talk. Jon’s one of the highest-scoring midfield players in the country, and doing really well.

“He’s got a lot of progress still to go, Jon is a cracking young man, happy at Carlisle United and long may that continue.”

Mellish, of course, had his stay with the club extended until at least the summer of 2022 at the beginning of October, and it was suggested that other such deals are to be discussed in the very near future.

“Those kinds of talks are for down the line right now,” he told us. “As well as Jon we did young Lewi Bell, who’s got a great future ahead.

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“I’ve had a number of people asking me about him at other clubs. That’s protected, the same as Mellish. I don’t have a crystal ball, when we said we’d give Jon a new deal we didn’t realise he was going to go and score 12 goals.

“We got a little bit lucky, his agent doesn’t think the same way, but Jon’s a very happy boy, got a new deal and is delighted to be at the club. He is attracting attention. but we’re under no pressure with that whatsoever.”

“The situation is very healthy, to be fair,” he said. “We’re in a position where we’re sitting nicely at the top of the table, there’s going to be a few bumps in the road and then we’ll look at where we are.

“I’m already thinking about different options, but when you’re discussing extensions, I already have 93/94 per cent of our current squad available to extend, which is only healthy for the club.

“That all comes down to planning ahead for just this kind of situation.”


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