City's £400K Gamble That Failed
Cody McDonald has returned to the scene of his greatest footballing success to date with a loan move to join League Two promotion-chasers Gillingham for whom he scored 25 goals in a similar spell in the 2010/11 season.
The striker leaves the Ricoh Arena (temporarily for now) unable to live up to the expectations that met his arrival from Norwich City at the end of August 2011. To be fair to a player who just over two years earlier had been playing non-league football, those expectations would have tested a far more high-profile arrival.
McDonald was the only outfield signing that Andy Thorn was permitted to make in the whole of the summer transfer window and cost a hard-up club £400,000 that it didn't have. On top of that he replaced a player of genuine quality, in Marlon King, and someone who could have provided him with the service he needed to make a real impact.
There were flashes, particularly when the fight against relegation looked like it might be won, with well-taken goals against Crystal Palace and Hull, and McDonald started the current campaign well enough but a number of niggling injury problems do add weight to the kind of comments expressed on the Telegraph website this week about the player's overall sharpness and hunger (for goals).
Mark Robins has said there is still time for his mind to be changed but this week's deal looks to be one that suits both parties.
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