Dearnley signs until 2022, two released by Latics

Reporter: Simon Smedley
Date published: 26 June 2020

Latics boss Dino Maamria has started re-shaping his squad ahead of the 2020/21 League Two season, which looks set to start in September.

Striker Zak Dearnley has put pen-to-paper on a new deal that will keep him at Boundary Park until 2022.

The striker was in red-hot form before last season was cut short, scoring four goals in eight appearances since his return to the club in the New Year.

Most noticeably, the 21-year-old netted a brace at Leyton Orient and has proved to be a handful for League Two defences, which resulted in a nomination for the PFA Fans Player of the Month for February alongside Jonny Smith after four goals in four appearances.

He was also given the PFA Community Champion award by the Community Trust for his support and ongoing delivery in the local area while representing the club.

An option clause in his deal when he came back to Latics meant an agreement could be reached regarding a new contract offer, as he is clearly seen as a valuable component of the squad moving forwards.

In the 2018/19 season, Dearnley arrived on loan from Manchester United and on his debut found the back of the net against Crawley Town.

He went onto make a further nine appearances in the league before ending the loan spell due to injury.

Dearnley initially progressed from the Red Devils academy and featured numerous times in the U23 squad, while making an appearance on the bench on the last day of the campaign against Crystal Palace in 2017.

On the contract extension, Dearnley said; "I know it's been tough for everyone over the past few months and there's more important things than football, so I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

"It's nice to get my future sorted though and I'm just ready to get back playing when we're allowed to do so and making sure I continue to show everyone what I can do in front of goal."

Heading out of Latics are Alex Iacovitti and Mohamad Sylla.

Iacovitti has had his contract terminated by mutual consent and as a result has now joined Scottish Premiership side Ross County.

The Scotland youth international signed for Latics in May 2019 after an initial short-term loan spell from Nottingham Forest. 

In total the defender made 39 appearances, scoring twice.

Sylla has now returned to France and will play for his local third tier side Stade Lavallois when his contract expires at the end of the month.

The 26 year-old made 51 appearances in midfield for Latics, scoring a single goal since arriving in January 2019.

Latics' first team head physiotherapist Stuart Irwin has also left Latics as he takes up a similar role at Blackpool.

Meanwhile, the latest proposals for a salary cap in League Two is being reported as being set at £1.5m.

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