Jon Whitney: Isaiah Osbourne won't be a Walsall player next season
Boss Jon Whitney has revealed he doesn't expect Isaiah Osbourne to be a Walsall player next season.
The 29-year-old joined the Saddlers on a free transfer at the start of the 2015/16 campaign but ended up missing the entire campaign with a serious knee injury.
Osbourne battled his way back to full fitness to become a key man for Whitney's side this year.
But it now seems his future is away from the Banks's Stadium after he told his manager he doesn't want to play for him.
“It’s a decision that myself and Ozzy (Osbourne) have made," Whitney said.
"Ozzy decided a couple of games ago that he didn’t really want to play for me.
"That’s something that me and Ozzy are going to speak about on Tuesday but I don’t see Isaiah being here next year. He won’t be playing for me again.
"People have got other agendas. He sees himself somewhere else next year so I need to look at other things."
Whitney described the conversation he and Osbourne had as "open and honest" and revealed he sees loanee George Dobson as a potential replacement for the former Villa man.
"Isaiah and I were frank and honest with each other," the boss continued.
"Maybe George is someone I’m going to try to get, maybe him with another pre-season under his belt can be that influential player with Skip (Adam Chambers).
"I have to look at certain things that will help me into the close season into next season.
"Isaiah's just been honest and frank. And I respect him for his decision because he’s up front. He sees himself elsewhere and I’ve got no problem with that."
Meanwhile, Walsall handed out their end of the season awards following yesterday's 4-1 home defeat to MK Dons.
Jason McCarthy was crowned fans player of the season.
The players' player of the season award went to Erhun Oztumer.
Amadou Bakayoko was named young player of the season with Callum Cockerill-Mollett claiming the apprentice of the season award.
Skipper Adam Chambers was named community player of the season while Oztumer's goal at Bolton on February 11 won goal of the season.