LOMAS ON STAGS: Talented Clements can still have his day

Chris Clements. Picture by Dan Westwell.

Chris Clements. Picture by Dan Westwell.

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Although he was one of the most talented footballers in the club, few Mansfield Town fans will see today’s departure of Chris Clements as a big surprise.

Clements today joined League Two rivals Grimsby Town for a five-figure sum with add-ons - and it has to be decent business for the club.

Let’s be honest, Clements could do things with a football few in the club then or now could manage.

He could turn on a sixpence, control long balls with ease, spray Hollywood passes with accuracy anywhere on the pitch and he could unlock a defence with a killer pass.

His dead ball accuracy was also good and, on his day, he was a star and a matchwinner.

Clements joins Grimsby - click HERE to read the story

However, those days were all too few and far between – and therein lay the problem.

A Chris Clements who could utilise his amazing raw talents on a consistent basis would never have ended up in non-League or even at Mansfield Town after his solid grounding at Crewe Alexandra.

But, at the age of 26, there is still time for someone to harness those talents and help him onto the Championship stage where he is more than capable of thrilling crowds week in, week out.

Under Paul Cox, Clements was a shining talent on the ball but had criticism levelled at him for his off-the-ball work and tackling.

Under Adam Murray we saw a more combative Clements, sliding into challenges and winning the ball as well as landing long passes on a sixpence and bamboozling opposition midfielders with his twists and turns.

Clements has had some outstanding games for the Stags this season and even briefly had the captain’s armband.

But too many 6/10 displays saw him slip from favour and, when new midfield players came in to relegate him to the bench and he wasn’t even in the squad at Notts County last weekend, the writing was on the wall.

Then when he didn’t figure in the midweek reserve game either fans quickly put two and two together and came up with the correct answer.

Don’t be surprised to see Clements star against the Stags when they go to Grimsby next month, he is very capable of that, and it would be a shame if his immense natural talent did not see him on a bigger stage before his career ends.

If that happens Stags will be happy too as they have sell-on clauses.

But in the meantime Stags fans will enjoy their good memories of what he did for the club, particularly promotion, and the talent he entertained with and most will wish him well.