Why Chesterfield did not sign Paul McCallum in summer

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Some light has been shed on why Paul McCallum’s loan move to Chesterfield was not made permanent at the end of last season.

The striker joined the Spireites on loan from Dagenham and Redbridge last February, scoring four goals in 19 appearances.

The 30-year-old, who was an unused substitute in Town’s play-off final defeat to Notts County, was a free agent in the summer and ended up returning to one of his old clubs in Eastleigh, who Chesterfield face on Saturday.

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The forward is having a brilliant campaign, scoring 23 goals in 24 league games, making him the top scorer in the division.

Paul McCallum.Paul McCallum.
Paul McCallum.

In the end, it sounds like the Blues only had eyes for Will Grigg, who has bagged 17 goals himself.

Asked if there was a temptation to sign McCallum permanently in the summer, assistant manager Danny Webb said: “What was tough was that the way the season ended it was very very raw, very emotional, and before you know it players make other plans.

"I am not saying we would or we wouldn’t have kept Paul but I think once Will Grigg was available he was a target for the manager and us. That is nothing against Paul McCallum that is just how football goes.

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"Paul was not short of offers by any means so I don’t think it was a case of Paul being on the phone to us going ‘what do you want to do’ because he knew he had offers lined-up.

"I think it has worked out quite well for both parties. Will Grigg and Joe Quigley have been excellent for us this season and Paul McCallum has been excellent for Eastleigh so some things happen for a reason.”

Having been a regular goalscorer in the National League for several years, Webb said he was not surprised by his numbers.

He added: "He has done it for the last eight or nine years in this league. Every club he has been at he has got double figures. When he is a team that really plays to his strengths he scores goals. People talk about spiritual homes for footballers but it does seem like Eastleigh is somewhere which means a lot to him and he means a lot to them. We will try to keep him quiet tomorrow because he is a really good player.”