Walsall were today facing another goalkeeping dilemma after failing to extend Ian McLoughlin’s loan.
The Saddlers had been hoping to keep the 21-year-old from MK Dons after his initial deal expired at the weekend.
But Dons boss Karl Robinson blocked Walsall’s attempts to extend the loan because he needs McLoughlin as cover for No.1 David Martin.
McLoughlin tweeted: “Won’t be going back to Walsall on loan needed back here! Wish the lads and fans all the best for rest of season! Been a pleasure #cheers.”
Ireland Under-21 international McLoughlin made six appearances for the Saddlers – helping them to ninth in League One – to become Walsall’s fourth goalkeeper of the season.
David Grof started the season but fell out of favour as Karl Darlow and Aaron McCarey were drafted in on loan from Nottingham Forest and Wolves respectively.
Jimmy Walker left the club by mutual consent this month leaving just Grof and youth team ace Richard Jones as the Saddlers’ goalkeepers ahead of Saturday’s trip to Brentford.
Walker, Walsall’s record appearance holder, left after struggling to marry coaching and playing when he failed to recover from a calf injury.
Grof could be handed a reprieve after making 14 appearances this term. He has not played since the 3-2 FA Cup first-round replay defeat to Lincoln in November.
Boss Dean Smith felt the Hungarian was conceding too many goals from distance and raided the loan market.
Smith first called on Darlow in September. He played eight games before he was recalled by Forest a month later after the Saddlers initially agreed an extension.
McCarey then joined from Wolves and made eight appearances until Walsall re-signed Darlow in January with the prospect of keeping him until the end of the season.
But Forest recalled him again after just two games – victories over Stevenage and Portsmouth – so Smith swooped for McLoughlin, with his last game the 1-1 draw against Notts County on Saturday.
* The Saddlers beat Sutton Coldfield Town 1-0 in the Walsall Senior Cup semi-final at the Banks’s Stadium, Kieron Morris scoring a late winner.Subscribe to our Newsletter