Blackpool have confirmed their retained list upon the climax of the Championship campaign, with eight out of contract players released.
Blackpool can be proud of their first season back in the Championship after successfully maintaining their place in the division in comfortable fashion.
Their 16th place finish doesn’t tell the whole story. Neil Critchley’s side were in and around the top half for much of the campaign and finished on an impressive 60 points, and upon the climax of their season, their retained list has been confirmed.
Eight players have been let go at the end of their contracts, and here, we look at three decisions that could come back to haunt Blackpool…
Letting Ethan Robson go for nothing
The departure of former Sunderland midfielder Robson is certainly the most eyebrow-raising of the eight confirmed by the Tangerines.
The 25-year-old put in some strong displays in Blackpool’s promotion-winning season and was starring on loan at MK Dons in the first half of the season, so much so that the League One club have been linked with a permanent move. Even if Robson wasn’t part of Critchley’s plans, offering him a new deal could have at least seen them earn a transfer fee for him if he ended up being sold anyway.
No new deal for Grant Ward
Ward was an important member of the squad in the 2020/21 campaign and started the first four games of the Championship season before being struck down with a season-ending achilles injury. However, despite his lack of game time and troublesome injury record, Ward could come back to bite the Tangerines.
His versatility and tenacity will make him a smart addition for any League One side and he certainly could have still been a player of use for Critchley.
Cameron Antwi moves on
Although this is unlikely to be a decision that immediately backfires, it certainly could further down the line.
20-year-old Ghanaian Antwi only made two senior appearances for Blackpool after arriving from Fulham but there’s no doubt that the young defensive midfielder has bags of potential and plenty of room to develop into a high-quality player. If he joins a club where he can unlock his potential, he could well be a player to watch out for in the future.