‘We will have a problem keeping hold of Sammie’ – admits U’s boss John McGreal

Two of Colchester United's young guns: Sammie Szmodics, left, with the match-ball under his shirt, a

Two of Colchester United's young guns: Sammie Szmodics, left, with the match-ball under his shirt, and Drey Wright after the U's 3-1 win over Exeter City. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Colchester United boss, John McGreal, has admitted that he might find it difficult to keep hold of star man, Sammie Szmodics, beyond next month’s transfer window.

Young attacker Szmodics has put two years of horrendous injuries behind him, to attract the attention of bigger clubs after plundering nine goals in just 18 first-team outings this season.

The 22-year-old effectively blew away high-flying Exeter City with a terrific first-half display, playing a key role in the U’s first goal before scoring the next two, and also hitting the woodwork, in an impressive 3-1 home win.

“I would think we will have a problem keeping hold of Sammie,” admitted McGreal.

“Our youngsters are getting noticed now, even though they are only 21 and 22-year-olds. They are young players with nearly 100 games under their belt, and you don’t get that anywhere else.

“That’s why I hope January (transfer window) comes and goes as quickly as it can.

“But if it happens, then of course it happens.

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“We’re talking about Sammie, because he deserves all the credit, but I thought that especially in the second half we had to work hard as a team to get the result.

“With Sam, together with a few of the other boys, things are starting to develop.

- Sammie Szmodics knows scouts are watching him

“There’s a lot more different types of scouts who are now coming to the games – we know and we look at it – Premier League scouts and Championship scouts, they are all coming now.

“We are a young team. We had five of our Academy players (Szmodics, Kane Vincent-Young, Tom Lapslie, Frankie Kent and Drey Wright) in the starting 10 outfield on Saturday, so it’s going to attract interest.

“Even you look at Kane, with the penalty, and Drey, the way they have worked that little bit of a combination to get the penalty was excellent.

“Sammie is scoring more regularly now, which probably comes down to confidence. He’s come back from injury, and he has also matured a lot more.

“I know he has played a lot of games (92 first-team outings), but he’s still only 22.

“He can go anywhere he wants really,” added McGreal.

The U’s, who are up to 10th in the table and are now level on points with the last play-off place, are in action at Swindon Town on Friday evening.

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