For many, summer transfer deadline day could arguably be one of the most exciting day on the football calendar.
After several weeks and months of negotiating, that late push to get deals through the door often provides much drama, and often a great deal of excitement, when that high profile, big money signing comes off at the very last minute.
For some however, the final day of the market can be very different, tinged with disappointment as a move hoped, and potentially pushed for, fails to come off just when it looked to have been secured.
One player who find himself in the unenviable, latter position at the end of the most recent summer window, was Swansea City’s Morgan Whittaker.
Having joined Swansea from Championship rivals Derby County back in the January window at the start of the year on a four-and-a-half-year deal for an undisclosed fee, things never really got going in the league for the attacker at his new club during the second half of last season.
In his 12 league appearances for Swansea during the 2020/21 campaign, Whittaker started just three times, and scored only once, ironically against former club Derby.
Given that lack of game time, it was perhaps not surprising when, on the final day of the summer window, reports emerged linking Whittaker with a loan move to League One side Lincoln City.
Ultimately though, Whittaker would not see that move materialise, with reports after the 11:00pm deadline revealing that the deal had fallen through, after Swansea had failed to bring in a replacement for the 20-year-old.
But with the way things have gone over the subsequent few weeks, it is hard to see any reason for Swansea not to revisit the prospect of Whittaker’s departure once the window reopens in January.
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So far this season, the attacker has made just four league appearances for Swansea, only one of which has come since the market closed, and all of which have come from the bench, meaning the attacker has spent less than an hour playing in the Championship playing Championship football this season.
Not only will that lack of regular game time be frustrating for Whittaker, that struggle for genuine experience is unlikely to help his development, which is something he surely needs at this stage of his career.
By contrast, a hat-trick in Swansea’s 4-1 thrashing of another League One side, Plymouth Argyle, back in August, feels like an indicator of what he could if he was to play week in week out in the third-tier.
Doing that for a spell with a side such as Lincoln would surely allow Whittaker to return to Swansea next summer brimming with confidence, and ready to make a real push for a regular place in the starting lineup in Wales.
His lack of game time this season, meanwhile, also suggests that Swansea would be capable of coping without the attacker if he was to leave on a temporary basis at the turn of the year.
It is also worth noting that Lincoln themselves, may well jump at another chance to complete a deal to bring the 20-year-old to Sincil Bank.
As things stand, the Imps currently sit 17th in the League One table, with 12 points from 11 games, meaning they look some way short of repeating, let alone improving, on their run to the play-off final from last season.
Given it has left Michael Appleton’s side a striker short, the collapse of that deal for Whittaker is unlikely to have helped that, particularly given only two Lincoln players – Anthony Scully (seven) and Lewis Fiorini (three) – have scored more than once in the league for the Imps this season.
With that in mind, you imagine adding a player to their squad who can make the sort of impact against League One sides that Whittaker did against Plymouth, could be a major boost for Lincoln if they get it done second time around. Indeed, Appleton has already suggested the club could revisit their interest at the turn of the year.
It seems therefore, that a move to send Whittaker on loan to Lincoln or another League One club come January ought to be a sensible move for all concerned.
Add in the fact that with the foundations of such a deal having already been laid in the summer, and with a full month to get things done in January, there ought to be no deadline day disappointment for those involved this time around.