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Southampton Loanee Returns To The Club
Thursday, 6th Jan 2022 10:48

Saints have recalled striker Dan N'Lundulu from his loan spell with Lincoln City, although whether he will be in the pecking order for the Saints first team or sent out on loan again is unclear.

Dan N'Lundulu has left Lincoln City with the Imps claiming he has been recalled by Saints cutting short his season long loan at the club.

This will lead to speculation that with injuries to their strikers of late, that Saints will be looking to get more back up for the current trio of Che Adams, Adam Armstrong & Armando Broja.

But judging by reports from the Lincoln media, this is a case of a player who has not succeeded at Sincil Bank returning to his parent club by mutual consent with playing time looking limited in the second half of the season.

Having made 13 substitute appearances in the Premier League for Southampton, plus 1 start in the FA Cup plus 2 sub appearances yielding a goal against Shrewsbury. it was hoped that being loaned out to the League One club might give the 22 year old striker the experience and confidence needed to succeed in the Premier League.

Biut it hasn't turned out that way, N'Lundulu has started just 6 games for the Imps in League One plus another 10 off the bench and the last of those appearances was a month ago and he has now dropped behind in the pecking order behind homegrown youngster Freddie Draper.

The departure of N'Lundulu and another loanee brought in from Norwich frees up space in the Lincoln squad to bring in more loanee's in the 2nd half of the season and it seems that Lincoln were the instigator for talks between the two clubs which came to the conclusion that his spell at Lincold was not a success and he was unlikely to get much game time in the 2nd half of the season.

That has seemingly lead Saints to agree to recall N'Lundulu although his next steps are unclear.

If he returns to the first team reckoning at St Mary's he would be behind the aforementioned trio who make up our current strike force and he would also likely be also behind Shane Long in the pecking order after the Irishman's positive contributions both before and after Xmas.

So with the chance of first team action slim at St Mary's at present it would make more sense that he would be loaned out again for the 2nd half of the season to another lower league club.

N'Lundulu will turn 23 in February and his career is at a little bit of a crossroads, having joined Saints from the Chelsea Academy in 2013 and rose through the youth ranks, after his appearances last season he signed a 3 year deal with Saints, but his failure to cut the mustard in League One will be a disappointment and he is now at an age where he should really be making his mark.

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worksopsaint added 11:59 - Jan 6
Yet another loan of an academy player ends in apparent failure. Correct me if I’m wrong but of all the loanees placed by us in lower divisions we have to go all the way back to Jack Stephens in 16/17 for someone to return and then make a major contribution to the Saints first team - 140 games in all competitions .

We have yet to work out a process that enables ex - Academy prospects to establish themselves in the Premiership. It’s an enormous gap to fill in terms of giving sufficient match day experience , actual playing time , implanting the necessary professional discipline as well as skill development to enable to claim a regular place.

Just sending them to Lincoln, Coventry, Mansfield or wherever must be a real psychological blow to a young lad who has been cosseted by our Academy , sitting on the bench at St Mary’s perhaps even playing a Prem game or three in front of 30,000 or more . Their experience at Lincoln will be living in digs ,in a town a third the size of Southampton , 150 miles from your mates , with poorer training and support facilities during the week and a match day attendance of about 8000 . Or an away trip to on a coach ( not a plane) to play in front of an even lower crowd .

No wonder so many fail.

highfield49 added 12:09 - Jan 6
I really thought that Dan would raise his game and become a serious contender at St Mary's. Sadly it looks as though he could be one of hundreds of promising youngsters that don't make the grade into top flight football. Obviously no player can improve sitting on the bench so he needs to find a club where he can get regular game time. However, unless he gets loaned to a club that can develop him rather than expecting him to be a finished product then he is unlikely to improve. Tough decisions to be made this month and I'm sure that all supporters hope that the stars align and his dreams come true, good luck whatever you decide Dan.

underweststand added 12:26 - Jan 6
N'Lundulu, has been through the Academy system. There has to be a positive " next step" for him and continued time on the bench at Lincoln is not the best answer.
He may get more game time with our B team, where the strike-force is mainly teenagers playing against U23 / overage players in opposition sides, and see if he gets goals there.

Alternatively, another loan-out in the hopes that he can get some real game time, as at the moment Broja (who is 3 years younger than Dan) is beginning to look like the "real thing " which will be a challenge for Dan if he is looking for Prem. games.

Block8 added 16:55 - Jan 6
Straight back out, to Cheltenham this time.
Lets just hope this loan suits both parties a bit better and Dan gets more game time!
Hopefully with the proposed new set up of Sport Republic we will see link ups, with clubs across Europe, to allow our youngsters the opportunity to gain valuable experience away from the academy !

darthvader added 16:55 - Jan 6
Back on loan to say ...Cheltenham Town id be willing to bet

TeamCortese added 02:31 - Jan 7
I think Dan could do with a loan move to a French Ligue 1 team or the Eredivisie. Both leagues are less physical and good feeder leagues to the EPL, La Liga, and Bundesliga.

It sounds like playing in League 1 team with poor training facilities coupled with a poor manager is a waste of time for all parties involved.

underweststand added 09:08 - Jan 7
Well that was a quick turnaround.
It was one of my thoughts in my earlier post (above) but suddenly Dan was back from Lincoln and now straight out to another loan at Cheltenham.
This has to be the best solution for him at this stage of his career.
The age range is dropping radically in the club, with new Academy lads showing up well and we see 16/17 year olds turning up in the higher level B team and doing well.

Dan L. will want to get a lot of game time under his belt PDQ and show that he is a useful prospect when he returns to SMS in the summer.

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