June 30, 2022 10.32 am

Key Lincoln City player joins League One rivals after Imps contract runs down

McGrandles will be staying in League One, just not at Lincoln

Conor McGrandles, a pivotal player for Lincoln City in the last two seasons, has been unveiled as a Charlton Athletic player following the expiry of his Imps contract.

The 26-year-old Scottish midfielder joined Lincoln City on a free transfer from MK Dons in 2020, making 91 appearances for the Imps as he became a crucial part of the club’s success.

45 of his games at the club came as captain, playing an important role in Lincoln’s run to the League One play-off final in 2021, as well as being a consistent performer during the more difficult 2021/22 season.

Conor McGrandles in action against Bowers & Pitsea. | Photo: Lincoln City FC

Speculation of his future began way back in January as his contract began to wind down, with a whole host of British clubs expressing an interest in McGrandles as a summer signing.

The Scottish midfielder announced his intention to leave the Imps at the end of May, with director of football Jez George saying: “We can only thank Conor for his contribution over the past two seasons, for the many memorable moments and wish him well for what comes next in his career. He leaves with the respect and genuine best wishes of all the players and staff.”

Despite whispers of a reunion with former Imps boss Michael Appleton at Blackpool in the Championship, McGrandles has instead put pen to paper on a three-year deal at League One side Charlton Athletic.

Conor McGrandles | Photo: Lincoln City Football Club

There were suggestions that McGrandles was eyeing a move back closer to his native Scotland, but if that was the case he has gone the wrong way home and ended up even further away in London.

The deal means that none of Lincoln’s starting midfield three at Wembley in the play-off final in 2021 are still at the club – with Jorge Grant moving to Peterborough, McGrandles to Charlton and Bridcutt leaving the club upon contract expiry.

In fact, just Regan Poole, TJ Eyoma, Joe Walsh and Tom Hopper remain from that starting XI at Wembley, highlighting the work Mark Kennedy needs to do to find a stable and regular squad for the season ahead.