Despite Scunthorpe United being perilously short of centre-halves, following Everton’s defensive injury crisis prompting their recalling of Shane Duffy – Michael Nelson’s departure, long feared to be inevitable by many Iron fans: has been confirmed as exactly that.
Despite the ex-Norwich skipper’s undoubted leadership qualities and experience at this level, it is understood that personal difference and his relatively high wage bill are the primary reasons for Knill to see the back of the giant defender.
The personal differences are specifically believed by insiders to relate to the tiki-taka football Knill insists his centre-halves on playing. Against the likes of Hartlepool, this philosophy has worked well – but versus Chesterfield, we just saw how self-destructive it can be.
Indeed – it is well known that Scunny tried to farm Nelson out on loan earlier in the season – only for him to refuse, and then play a starring role in Scunthorpe’s then sole victory away from home, (at Stevenage).
But it seems that his less than year long spell with the Iron, (having signed on the last day of the January transfer window last season), is very soon coming to an end – with Knill getting his way, and both Nelson and his representatives knowing this.
The 31 year old patently has a good few years left in his tank, and don’t be surprised to see him either join one of the Iron’s League One rivals, or for the Geordie in exile, to head up to the SPL.
In an interview with Sky Sports that was clearly designed as a briefing trying to drum up some interest, Nelson’s agent revealed that he was available on a free transfer.
Despite being labelled as a “squad restructuring” – this is Scunthorpe United’s unique attempt at corporate speak to explain the fact that there’s likely to be a mini clearout during the window as Knill turns the screw on those he feels have under-performed for the club during his tenure.
So we’ll just have to hope that Michael can find a good club – because he deserves it, and that it all doesn’t end too acrimoniously, (if we’re not already past that). and that Knill can somehow: by the end of January – craft a squad that can drag Scunthorpe United up the league table.
Up the Iron, and many thanks to Michael for his great service.