As season ticket holders queued to renew for the 2022/23 campaign this morning one of the main topics of conversation was around Southampton defender Dynel Simeu, and the likelihood of a return to Cumbria next season, should his parent club decide another loan move is the best next step for his development.
The 20-year-old has made 18 appearances for the Blues since joining on a half-season deal in January, and it’s fair to say he’s become a huge crowd favourite with his committed performances and some eye-catching final whistle celebrations.
A family situation kept him away from training for the bulk of last week, and manager Paul Simpson explained his decision on leaving him out for the home game against Stevenage on Saturday.
“It was a little bit harsh on Dynel because I explained during the week that he’d had a family bereavement, so he spent a lot of time back home with his mum last week,” he said. “I also wanted to see Corey Whelan, because he’ll probably feel a little hard done to that he hasn’t had an opportunity at the centre of the defence, which is his favoured position.
“I felt this game was about having a look at him there. We all know that Dynel’s on loan, and Corey is ours next season, so we need to see what we’ve got and how they can perform in first-team football.”
But acknowledging the attributes and contribution brought to the mix by the popular centre half, he added: “It’s probably a little bit ahead of the curve to be thinking about whether or not we could get him back up here.
“What you find in the Premier League is that they want to see players in their own environment once they’ve been out, usually at the start of pre-season.
“I’ve been in constant touch with Danny Butterfield with feedback on how he’s doing, but we haven’t got to a point where we’re talking about next season.
“My focus is on getting a spine of team, with permanent signings if we possibly can, and then we’ll look at the loan market of just adding a few more.”
“If Dynel is one of them, I think he’s shown us in my time here what he’s about,” he continued. “He’s constantly developing as a footballer and he’s also a really top bloke.
“The fans have taken to him and what I’ve really pleased me about him is that when you bring loan players in, they don’t always get clubs and they don’t get an affinity with them.
“He’s embraced the whole thing. It’s a really strange thing to say, but coming up and playing at Carlisle United is a unique situation. You have to get it or it doesn’t work.
“He certainly has got it and I’m sure there’ll be discussions about it. Being honest, I’m expecting them to want him to go a little bit higher, possibly the next level, so we’ll see if that happens and we’ll take it from there.
“There’ll be conversations, and I hope what clubs are seeing is that we’re looking after these lads. If we make things even better within our environment then we can look after them even better.
“If we can get a group of players around them who are good, then it all aids their development. The challenge however we do it is to get a group of players who can go out there and start the season strongly for us.”