In a shocking development from the board room of the Dog Track, Manchester City has formally exercised their right to terminate the loan agreement and recall Jamie Tartt back to the Etihad.
While the move is not completely unheard of, the timing is a bit unusual as the Premier League campaign is nearly three quarters of the way complete. As such, there has been a lot of speculation regarding the true nature of the recall. AFC Richmond still have yet to play their second match against Manchester City; Tartt’s loan agreement had no provision stipulating that he sit against his parent club, because, well, it’s AFC Richmond. But Richmond looked frisky against Watford, so it is possible that they simply don’t want to risk their title chances being undone by someone from their own books.
It’s easy to suggest that the recent benching led to friction between star and new manager, Ted Lasso, to say nothing of the fact that Manchester City loaned him out so that he could get valuable playing time. But after a recent ghost exorcism in the training room, the two men apparently shared a smoky bottle of mezcal around a bonfire and now they’re besties.
No seriously that’s what happened. Lasso talked about it on Twitter.
(They left a giant burn mark in the middle of the training pitch that I just know I’m going to get stuck dealing with.)
Regardless of the motivations or mechanisms behind the move, the recall deals a major blow to AFC Richmond’s hopes to make a big move up the table under Ted Lasso with so few matches remaining. Lasso appeared to have figured one or two things out and had evidently gotten through to his mercurial star for the first time. He’ll now be pinning his hopes on the resurgence of the aging Roy Kent and an injury-prone signing that no one has ever seen play.