Fleetwood Town loan star Harry Souttar hinted he may not have made his last visit to Highbury as he thanked the Cod Army and stated, ‘See you soon’.
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The giant defender missed Town’s final five games of the season after picking up a red card and a toe injury at Barnsley.
The 20-year-old has returned to parent club Stoke City and tweeted a farewell message to Town, having made 11 appearances since the start of February.
It read: “A massive thank you to everyone at Fleetwood Town for this season. To the staff, players, owners and fans it’s been amazing from day one. Finally felt at home. Have a good summer and see you soon.”
The Scot has three years remaining on his deal at the Championship club and any return to Fleetwood would more probably take the form of a second loan spell rather than a permanent switch.
Town assistant boss Clint Hill went on record saying the club would ‘love’ Souttar to return for 2019/20.
Town kept clean sheets in five of Souttar’s 11 games and former defender Hill told The Gazette at the end of March: “It is like he has been here for years – very mature performances.
“He has made a big contribution on and off the pitch. He is older than his years.
“Harry has settled into the physicality of the league and technically he is a very good player. We are very pleased and very lucky to have him.
“We’d love to have him next year but we will have to work on that. He has been a great addition to the squad.”
Souttar is not the only loan player departing Highbury. Lewie Coyle (Leeds), Ched Evans (Sheffield United) and James Husband (Norwich) have all returned to their parent clubs, while Jason Holt returned to Rangers early, having been stretchered off at Accrington in March.
Evans did not return to Bramall Lane empty-handed, having picked up chairman Andy Pilley’s player of the year award after scoring 17 goals for Town.
Alex Cairns was named community player of the year, while Paddy Madden was the club sponsors’ player of the year and took the golden boot for his 19 goals.
The BES Utilities player of the year prize was Wes Burns.