The Football League managed to sneak in some exceptions to the transfer rules that mean loan moves are ok. So with no chance of anyone coming the other way, it’s time to say goodbye to three of the players on the fringes of the first team. Admittedly the chances of either Luke Joyce or Kevin Lee making a splash between now and the end of the season were about as likely as me getting a game and with Jimmy Bullard ahead of him in the line to play left sided midfield; Alan Mahon’s decision to jump ship is hardly a surprise.

Mahon has left on one of these loan deals that are guaranteed to lead to a permanent transfer, basically ‘we’re not allowed to buy you, so we’ll pretend that we’re not’. The dangers of that type of thing for poor old Geoff Horsfield the other week, he’s not getting a game at Sheff Utd but West Brom won’t take him back so he can go anywhere else. He’s stuck there until he actually signs for them and they can flog him. Hopefully Mahon will get a better deal than that, he’s proved he’s got something to offer at this level so the step back to the First Division with Burnley, shouldn’t do him any harm.

Luke Joyce first came to my attention at the start of the season when he featured in a number of pre-season games. Word was that he was doing alright, but perhaps not good enough, just yet. It was good though to see another youngster with the possibility of making it into the first team. It was the second half of the season before he was seen again although his substitute appearance at Leeds and place on the Bench for the Liverpool game were hardly enough to judge him as a player. Luke has gone to League 2 high flyers, Carlisle who have taken over his youth contract and will offer the 18 year old a professional contract in the summer.

Finally Kevin Lee has gone on a proper, old fashioned loan deal, joining Blackpool until the end of the season. I’m suspecting that has more to do with uncertainty over the Clementine’s future than it is a sign that the centre half has a future at the club. Lee’s season has followed a similar path to Joyce’s, featuring in pre-season games and keeping the bench warm at Leeds.

Now’s not the time to rant about what losing the two young lads means for the future of the club, nor to wonder about whether Mahon’s move is the first of a summer clear out, no doubt I’ll be returning to those topics at some point. Instead I’ll leave it by thanking the three lads for pulling on the shirt and wish them the best at their new clubs.

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