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Midfielder Evans Leaves Town
Friday, 2nd Feb 2024 13:36

Town boss Kieran McKenna has revealed midfielder Lee Evans has left the club to look for football before the end of the season.

The 29-year-old is closing in on a return to action having undergone knee surgery in October but was still a little way off match action.

Yesterday’s signing of Kieffer Moore meant the Blues had 26 players who qualified for their 25-man squad and following talks with the club, Evans has moved by mutual consent.

“Lee Evans has had some conversations with the club,” McKenna said at his lunchtime press conference. “Lee’s progressed really well with his injury but is still probably a month or away from being fit.

“And following the discussions with the club, both parties agreed that it’s going to be so important for him to get games in the second half of the season, if possible.

“He’s a terrific player, a terrific professional, has missed a lot of games through injury. We hope now the issue is really resolved because he’s had the surgery, but it’s really important for him to get back playing games again now and he’s hopefully going to be fit for the last few months of the season.

“And with the depth that we have in those positions, it was unlikely that he was going to get the game time here, so Lee came to an agreement with the club where he’ll continue his rehabilitation here, do his last month of work until he’s back in full training and then he’ll have the opportunity to go and try and sign somewhere as a free agent before that window is shut.

“I think, hopefully, he’ll get quite a few games before the end of the season and whoever takes him will be getting a very, very good football player, hopefully now free of injury. A fantastic character and hopefully now well set-up for some really good years ahead.”

McKenna says the four-times-capped Wales international played his part in last year’s promotion from League One.

“He certainly did,” the Northern Irishman reflected. “If you look at anyone who has watched us in the last two years or since I first arrived, if you look at Lee’s form in the period after I arrived and you look at the progression of the other players who are still here, Samy Morsy, Conor Chaplin or Wes Burns, I think there’s every chance that Lee injury-free would have made the same type of jumps.

“But unfortunately that’s football. He’s been very unfortunate that he hasn’t been able to play as regularly as he would have wanted to on that journey.

“But again, I think he’s a fantastic player, a great professional, very respected here and that’s why the club wanted to give him the opportunity to play regularly hopefully in the last couple of months of the season to set himself up well for next season.

“It’s shame to not have him as part of the squad but I think it’s the right thing for Lee and he’s had a really good part here to play when he’s played but also unfortunately with the injuries he’s missed more than he would like, but he’s always had a very big part to play behind the scenes as well.”

Evans joined the Blues having left Wigan in the summer of 2021 and went on to make 55 starts and six sub appearances, scoring six times, three of those in the 6-0 hammering of Doncaster Rovers early in his first season at the club.

Photo: Matchday Images

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boroughblue added 13:39 - Feb 2
All the best Lee, thanks for everything!

Although maybe slightly poor timing now that we’ve just found out Jack Taylor will be out for a few weeks

davidsuperg added 13:40 - Feb 2
55 appearances in 2 and a half years isn't enough really to get consistent team cohesion and I really hope his injuries are behind him now and he can find his forever home. Thanks for the memories Lee and good luck.

BeattiesBackPocket added 13:51 - Feb 2
Good luck Lee thanks for the games and helping us get up back where we belong

blues1 added 13:55 - Feb 2
Boroughblue so where have you seen that Taylor is out for a few weeks? Nothing on here, or the official website. Nor has Mckenna said so, in his press conference.

ghostofescobar added 13:56 - Feb 2
All the best Lee, really hope it works out for you. Odd, because only last night me and my youngest were saying we've probably seen the last of Evans, but thought he'd be let go end of the season. Probably a good more for both parties.

Marcus added 13:58 - Feb 2
Still a decent player, hope he still finds some form for the remainder of his career. Logical that he's now too far down the pecking order after such an injury at this stage of his career. Now can move closer to where he wants to play out his career, or, by tradition, Colchester should he prefer to stay local.

gosblue added 13:58 - Feb 2
I imagine, knowing the way we look after people, Lee will continue his rehab here until he finds a new club.
Good luck Lee, all the best for the rest of your career.

chepstowblue added 14:04 - Feb 2
Very disappointing. Was arguably showing his best form before the injury, and behind Morsy and Luongo I'd still rate him as our next best midfielder at the club. Injury free he is certainly a championship player. Best wishes to him.

blues1 added 14:04 - Feb 2
Boroughblue. Ah. Seen it now.

algarvefan added 14:10 - Feb 2
Has been a model professional both on and off the field for Town. My very best wishes Lee, hope you find a new home soon, you will be a great asset wherever you go.

jayceee added 14:18 - Feb 2
Oh! Didn't see that coming, I thought he was not fit to play yet?

NthQldITFC added 14:21 - Feb 2
Good luck Lee. A cruel injury at a bad time, but you helped put us where we are now.

Phil1969 added 14:32 - Feb 2
This is weird I get the squad number requirement but if his best years are ahead post surgery why are we not retaining. A fifth of our squad are loans after all.

tempzzzz added 14:33 - Feb 2
@boroughblue - wouldn't have made a difference with the Taylor injury as Evans is still out for another month anyway. Got more than enough cover for that position anyway

bucket99 added 14:41 - Feb 2
It's a shame, he's a lovely player. The pass for Freddie to run onto at Reading in the Carabao was utterly sublime.

Good luck Lee!

BrockleyBlue78 added 14:42 - Feb 2
Thank you Lee and best of luck in the future.

Lightningboy added 14:42 - Feb 2
Shame he was so injury prone - arguably the best passer of a ball we've had since Magilton's days & one of our best performers in the first half of last season.

Hope he gets himself fit and finds a decent home..cheers Lee.

Steelmonkey added 15:17 - Feb 2
Hope your future years are good ones, never let us down and scored some great goals for us.
Shame that injury has curtailed your playing days here, all our best wishes are with you and hope you find a good club to continue your journey. Lots more to give to the game.

Jeff added 15:24 - Feb 2
Not sure why on some Town social media sites, he has come in for so much criticism. I reiterate what 'Lightningboy' ha ssaid previously. He was the best passer of the ball we have had since Jim Magilton, and was arguably our best player last season, up until the end of Octber, when he got injured. Bought quality to our midfield. Admitedly, our best performances came when Massimo took his place. But a class player!

ArnieM added 15:29 - Feb 2
I’m not surprised and I wish him well . I’m also surprised Ball is still on our books tbh .

Edmundo added 15:35 - Feb 2
The wording of this article suggests maybe we have first refusal next season?

blues1 added 15:49 - Feb 2
Phil1969. Clearly states in the story that he asked to be allowed to go, so he can find somewhere he can play more regularly once he's fully fit.

Suffolkboy added 16:01 - Feb 2
Great promise, style and vision and readily able to pick out a good pass . Seems beyond doubt he would have developed and prospered under K M; but events and times have overtaken him ,so the mutual decision to foster a move speaks well of both parties .
Let’s hope returning strength and fitness will enable him to play again to realise his potential : wish him just the very best of good luck !
He must surely go with the good wishes of all ITFC supporters !

ITFC_Singapore added 16:46 - Feb 2
Understand it and makes sense but really sad about this. Quality player with a great range of passing from deep lying midfield and loves a tackle. I think a lot of Town fans have forgotten that he was our best player at the start of last season before the injury and was captain when Morsy wasn't on the pitch. Really hope his body lets him show what a excellent player he is at his next stop.

blueboy1981 added 17:05 - Feb 2
Some players are forever injury prone for whatever reason - shame for Evans because a fully fit Lee Evans had every other requirement to be an absolute asset to the Club.
Out for potentially another month plus, this has to be the right outcome for both Player and Club now.

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