Brennan Dickenson is set to stay another season with Colchester United

Brennan Dickenson, letting fly with a shot during one of his very few appearances, just seven in all

Brennan Dickenson, letting fly with a shot during one of his very few appearances, just seven in all, last season. But he will remain with the U's for next season. Picture: PAGEPIX - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Fears that Brennan Dickenson will leave Colchester United this summer have been eased by the revelation that the Essex club have taken out the option of an extra year on the winger’s current contract.

Dickenson has been dogged by injuries over the last year, but even so the ex-Brighton and Gillingham 25-year-old is seen as a key man for the U’s, going into the 2018-19 season.

The left-sided specialist burst onto the scene following his switch from Priestfield in the summer of 2016, plundering 12 goals and creating countless goals for team-mates until he was struck down by cruciate ligament damage a year ago, in April, 2017.

It has been a long haul back to fitness, and although he finally returned to action in February, to play a series of impressive cameo roles, Dickenson has since been back on the treatment table suffering from another leg injury.

Having signed a two-year deal, two years ago, it was assumed that Dickenson might be on the move on a free transfer, especially as considerable interest had been shown in him by other clubs, including Ipswich Town, before he sustained his long-term injury.

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But McGreal revealed yesterday, during his pre-match conference ahead of the final day trip to Exeter, that he expected Dickenson to stay.

“We have got the option of taking up another year on Brennan’s contract, and that’s what we will do,” said McGreal.

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“It’s very disappointing that he has not been able to play during the last few weeks of the season.

“He gave us that injection of pace, width and balance when he came back into the team, to give us some impetus, so it was very frustrating when he got injured again.

“Hopefully, Brennan can get himself fit again, and ready for pre-season, because it will be like having a new player for us next season.”

However, McGreal confirmed that three of the U’s loanees have already returned to their parent clubs, ahead of tomorrow’s final match of the season at fourth-placed Exeter City.

Centre-half Ryan Inniss has returned to Crystal Palace, as has striker Liam Mandeville to Doncaster and young winger Olamide Shodipo to QPR.

McGreal added: We want to end this season on a positive note. There is disappointment around the club that we could not get into the play-offs, because that was our target, and we have fallen short of that target.

“We were in with a good chance, up until a few weeks ago, when we lost a few games, which didn’t help.

“We had enjoyed a good run, up until that point, and we have rarely been outplayed this season.

“We knew that we were capable of making the play-offs, but we have just fallen a bit short. It was down to small margins in most games.”

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