Uncertainty for O’s players with expiring contracts

PUBLISHED: 16:00 08 April 2020

Jobi McAnuff holds off Liam O'Neil (pic Simon O'Connor)

Jobi McAnuff holds off Liam O'Neil (pic Simon O'Connor)

Simon O’Connor Photography Mobile 07958 573219

It’s an unprecedented time, so what does mean for Leyton Orient’s expiring contract players with the season still hanging in the balance.

Ruel Sotiriou takes on Oldham's Zak Mills (pic Simon O'Connor)Ruel Sotiriou takes on Oldham's Zak Mills (pic Simon O'Connor)

Player/coach Jobi McAnuff, defender Marvin Ekpiteta, hot prospect Ruel Sotiriou, James Dayton, Matt Harrold, Dale Gorman, James Alabi and Arthur Janata are among those out of contract come the end of June.

The club would usually be in talks with those players about extending or perhaps preparing for them to leave the club at the end of their contracts.

But in this current time, perhaps the club is unsure of how much of a budget hit they will take during this enforced break from action, or perhaps they’re holding off for the time being.

One thing is for certain that those players will be worrying about whether they get a new deal or have something lined up.

For 38-year-old McAnuff it has been a strange season as he only made his first appearance of the season the week before action stopped due to the coronavirus outbreak following a long injury lay-off.

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The former Reading captain also stepped into a coaching role this season so there is perhaps options for the experienced midfielder.

He could sign a new deal if both him and the club are happy to do so or he could step into a coaching role full-time or even pursue a career in media after appearing on Sky Sports on plenty of occasions in the last two seasons.

It will be slightly different for the rest, Ruel Sotiriou is one most O’s fans will be desperate to keep hold of, after the youngster broke into the first-team on Boxing Day following a prolific loan spell with National League side Dover Athletic.

He then hit the ground running with the O’s and found the net on five occasions.

Defender Marvin Ekpiteta is a regular first-team starter but his could be more if he wants to leave with interest from higher leagues since arriving at Brisbane Road.

James Dayton I believe the club have an option to extend his deal by one-year if they could to but with his injury question, who knows.

Matt Harrold has struggled for regular pitch time and could opt to leave to seek more playing time as he is at the tail end of his career.

James Alabi and Dale Gorman were both out of loan at Eastleigh and Newport County respectively to get more playing time and impress so they could earn contracts elsewhere.

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