Wilder calls time on Calvert-Lewin and Watson loan spells at Cobblers

LOAN STINT OVER - Dominic Calvert-Lewin has returned to Sheffield United

LOAN STINT OVER - Dominic Calvert-Lewin has returned to Sheffield United

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Striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin and midfielder Ryan Watson have left the Cobblers after the pair’s loan spells expired.

Calvert-Lewin returns to Sheffield United and Watson goes back to Leicester City, with manager Chris Wilder deciding not to extend their deals at Sixfields.

LOAN STINT OVER - Ryan Watson has returned to Leicester City

LOAN STINT OVER - Ryan Watson has returned to Leicester City

Watson, who missed most of last season after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury on his previous loan spell at Sixfields, managed just seven starts and eight substitute appearances this time around, scoring one goal in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win over Colchester United.

Teenager Calvert-Lewin started 11 times, and also made 15 substitute appearances, scoring a very useful eight goals to be the club’s second top scorer behind Marc Richards.

“Their loans have expired, and we’re not extending them,” said the Cobblers boss.

“Ryan has found it difficult to reproduce the form that he showed when he first came to the club, and he has found if difficult with the form of John-Joe (O’Toole), Joel Byrom and Jason Taylor.

“He has struggled to force his way in ahead of those three.”

And on teenager Calvert-Lewin, Wilder said: “Dominic has done great for us.

“I knew a bit about him before he came into the building, he has played his games, and I am hoping and I imagine he has enjoyed his time and benefitted from the experience of being around a good group of players and staff at a good football club.

“I am sure he goes back to Sheffield United a better player for the experience of what he has achieved in his five months here.”

Attention for Wilder now focuses on recruitment during the transfer window, and he said: “We move on now, and we are looking to improve the group and we are confident we will do that.”

The Cobblers are next in action on Saturday when they host Milton Keynes Dons in the FA Cup third round at Sixfields.

There was good news on the injury front for Wilder, with Alfie Potter expected to have recovered from the rib injury that kept him out of Saturday’s 3-0 win over Barnet.

Long-term injury absentee Paul Corrry aside, the rest of the squad is fit.