July 19, 2024

Wrexham AFC achieved back-to-back promotions for the first time in the club’s long history last season.

Phil Parkinson has assembled an impressive team of players which is full of star talent since taking charge of the Red Dragons in 2021 with the backing of Hollywood owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.

The former Sunderland manager has already begun to reshape his squad as they prepare for life in League One.

Well-known names like Aaron Hayden, Ben Tozer, Luke Young and Rob Lainton have all been released to make room for new faces.

During his time at Wrexham, the majority of departures have been of Parkinson’s choosing, but there is always the possibility that teams from higher up the leagues could come sniffing for their key players during the summer.

Here, FLW looks at the three players who are most likely to attract interest from elsewhere and whether the club should consider selling them.

Paul Mullin

Paul Mullin has been a massive asset for Wrexham since he joined the club in the summer of 2021.

The striker has amassed more than 100 goals for the North Walian side during the last three seasons and again finished 2023/24 as their top scorer with 24 league goals.

His achievements saw him named as the club’s Player of the Season and the PFA Fans’ Player of the Year for League Two.

Mullin collected these accolades despite puncturing his lung and suffering several broken ribs during a pre-season match in the US, resulting in him missing the start of the campaign.

His prolific form in front of goal means he would definitely be an attractive target for teams in the Championship.

However, Wrexham being willing to sell their talisman seems incredibly unlikely after he signed a contract extension in January to keep him at the club until 2027.

Not only is it improbable, but it would also be a foolish move, with strikers who guarantee you at least 20 goals a season being as rare as hen’s teeth.

Selling Mullin should therefore be a hard “no”, regardless of the scale of the offer.

Elliot Lee

Another huge offensive weapon for the Red Dragons is midfielder Elliot Lee.

As per Transfermarkt, the 29-year-old scored 16 goals and provided five assists for Wrexham in League Two, stepping into the breach in Mullin’s absence early in the season.

Lee’s talents were reported at one stage to have caught the eye of Birmingham City, then of the Championship.

He already has experience of playing in the second tier, having joined Wrexham on a free transfer from Luton Town in the summer of 2022.

It would therefore be unsurprising if clubs from the division were monitoring him ahead of the upcoming transfer window.

Ex-England international Carlton Palmer previously told FLW it would take an “unrefusable offer” to get a deal done, with Lee also signing a contract extension until 2027 in January.

Much like Mullin, the midfielder is pivotal to how Parkinson’s team play, meaning he is another player the club should not consider selling.

Max Cleworth

A player who has flown under the radar in comparison to Mullin and Lee is defender Max Cleworth.

The 21-year-old has already made nearly 100 appearances for Wrexham since stepping up into the first team from the club’s youth system in 2021.

The young centre back initially struggled to establish himself in Parkinson’s starting XI in League Two.

However, from mid-December onwards, he became a crucial part of the team, putting in some highly impressive performances in defence.

Cleworth has been tipped to play at a higher level by former Wrexham midfielder Lee Fowler.

Speaking to the Leader newspaper, he said: “I think he’s got to the stage now where he’s ready to play in the Championship. He’s ticking off promotions and his value’s only going to grow.

“If there’s Championship teams or a Premiership team looking at him, the next season will be a pivotal one for Max.”

His potential means Cleworth is a player Wrexham would not want to lose without a fight, but their financial position means there is a strong argument to sell him if a big offer is made.

The club’s latest accounts show that owners Reynolds and McElhenney are owed nearly £9m in loans which have been used to fund the Red Dragons so far.

There could therefore be a temptation to cash in by selling him to a team from higher up to help put Wrexham on a more stable financial footing.

In short, while the prospect of seeing Cleworth leave would be a heart-wrenching one for supporters, it’s a move the club should seriously consider.

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