With the English Football League and Non-League divisions coming to an end across the last two weeks, take a look at how Southampton’s loan players fared in their final fixtures in our latest Loan Watch…
Starting in the Championship, both Nathan Tella and Will Smallbone enjoyed successful seasons at their respective clubs as the league concluded on Bank Holiday Monday.
Smallbone played the full 90 minutes in a final day defeat against Watford as Stoke City finished in 16th place; despite his side’s league position, the midfielder can call his first full campaign of senior football a success with six goals and five assists 46 appearances.
Meanwhile, Tella made a return from a recent injury to feature in Burnley’s comfortable win over Cardiff City that saw the Clarets end the campaign as centurions with 101 points.
Tella’s stellar season has been well documented as the Team of the Season-electee lifted the Championship trophy with 19 goals and five assists in his 45 games across all competitions.
In League One, the season wrapped up a day earlier with mixed fortunes for Saints’ youngsters across the league.
Kegs Chauke has ended the campaign with a run of starts for Exeter City and played just over an hour in their victory over Morecambe at home, finishing his time at St James’ Park with 26 appearances and two goals.
On the other end of that result was Saints pair Caleb Watts and Dynel Simeu who were unfortunately relegated with Morecambe after the defeat, coupled with results elsewhere on a dramatic final day, resulted in a 22nd place finish.
Watts missed the game through injury but featured 30 times across the campaign, scoring three goals and registering three assists, whilst Simeu has played 18 games since arriving in January after 17 matches and one goal for Tranmere Rovers earlier in the season.
On a more positive note, Dan Nlundulu was on the scoresheet as he came off the bench to net his first goal for Bolton Wanderers in a 3-2 win over Bristol Rovers.
The striker scored just nine minutes after being introduced with a calm finish from the edge of the area, claiming after the game that “It was great. I’ve been working so hard and staying patient, so today is a good day.”
Nlundulu’s campaign isn’t over yet as Bolton enter the playoffs with their fifth-place finish and face Barnsley in the semi-finals.
Down in League Two, both Ryan Finnigan and Kazeem Olaigbe ended their campaigns with draws and a comfortable finish in the table.
Finnigan played four games in two weeks to finish his season with Crewe Alexandra, featuring for 79 minutes in the final day draw with Newport County that concludes his first senior loan with one goal and one assist in 16 appearances.
Elsewhere, Olaigbe ended the campaign with an assist in his final two matches with Harrogate Town as he played the full 90 minutes in their 1-1 draw against Rochdale.
The young Belgian has found his feet after spending the first half of the season with Ross County, ending his time in North Yorkshire with three goals and five assists in 19 matches.
Outside of the EFL, Nico Lawrence impressed throughout his first senior loan with Torquay United but was unable to prevent their relegation from the Vanarama National League on the final day of the season.
Lawrence helped the Gulls to a remarkable run of five successive wins in the penultimate month, but a final day draw with league champions Wrexham wasn’t enough as they dropped to the sixth tier by a mere two points.
For the young defender, his stint in Devon can be deemed a personal success as he made 22 appearances and registered one assist to leave with the club’s Young Player of the Season award.
In the National League South, goalkeeper Jack Bycroft has enjoyed a positive campaign with Taunton Town as the Peacocks secured survival and a comfortable 14th place finish.
The shot-stopper made 48 appearances in his time at the Cygnet Stadium, kept 19 clean sheets and earned a place in the division’s Team of the Season.
Elsewhere, midfielder Jack Turner was able to experience the playoffs as he helped Braintree Town to seventh in the league and played 90 minutes on the last day of the season.
Unfortunately, the B team star watched from the bench as the Iron were then knocked out of the semi-finals with a defeat against Worthing.
Turner played 16 times and scored twice since joining on his first senior loan in January.
Finally, young striker Luke Pearce ended his time at Eastbourne Borough with a cameo off the bench in a final day victory over Concord Rangers.
The 18-year-old made 17 appearances in his first senior loan, scoring six goals as his side narrowly missed out on a playoff finish in eighth place.