Duo offered new deals - but McBride among five U23s to leave

·2-min read
Isaac Whitehall has been offered a new deal by Rovers
Isaac Whitehall has been offered a new deal by Rovers

Isaac Whitehall and Jalil Saadi have both been offered new contracts by Rovers.

Whitehall endured a disappointing campaign, with injury meaning he failed to make a single appearance for the Under-23s, having previously been a regular in the side.

The 20-year-old has played 32 times for the Under-23s, showing his versatility to operate in both defence and midfield, and captained the Under-18s to an FA Youth Cup semi-final.

Saadi has also had his injury problems, but finished the season in the team, with 16 appearances in all.

He has played 34 times for the Under-23s after coming through the ranks, and like Whitehall can operate in both defence and midfield.

It is defence where the 20-year-old has made a home for himself of late, and now faces a decision over his future with a contract offer on the table.

While those two are in negotiations to stay, Luke Brennan, Joe Ferguson, Sam Durrant, Connor McBride and Joe Nolan will all leave the club at the end of their deals.

McBride hit 12 goals in 20 Premier League appearances, proving deadly from the penalty spot, and that did earn him a place on the bench for the first-team.

Despite goals in pre-season against AFC Fylde and Leeds United, the Scot failed to build on a productive first season, scoring four for the Under-23s in the first half of the season before a move into the Scottish third tier with Queen’s Park in January.

The 21-year-old failed to score in 14 appearances for the League One side.

Brennan made his debut for Rovers in October 2020, but leaves with that being his sole senior appearance, and looks set for Wigan.

Ferguson, Durrant and Nolan all failed to make a senior appearance and leave to search for new clubs.

Professional contracts have been offered to scholars Patrick Gamble, Harrison Wood, Charlie Weston, George Pratt, Felix Goddard, Kristi Montgomery and Jay Haddow, with Harry Leonard, Adam Wharton and Georgie Gent already signed professional terms.

Ben Fyles, who missed the majority of the 2021/22 season due to injury, has had his scholarship extended into a third year.

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