Merson ‘would be very hard to replace’ but Ian Allinson and St Albans City won’t stand in the way of his professional dream

Sam Merson goes to celebrate with the supporters after getting the Saints back in the game. Picture:

Sam Merson goes to celebrate with the supporters after getting the Saints back in the game. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

Ian Allinson says neither he nor St Albans City will stand in Sam Merson’s way should a league club calling.

The striker took his tally to 24 this season with a hat-trick away to Gloucester City on Tuesday, the second time he has scored three or more in the campaign.

And such has been his form over a year where he hasn’t always been a regular starter in the City line-up that the Saints boss has already been talking to potential suitors.

Allinson said: “I wouldn’t want to lose the boy but people have spoke to me over the last six or seven weeks and I’ve always said he’s one of those that if someone grabs hold of him, and works with him, he’s got fantastic potential.

“He still only 23 so if someone takes him under their wing and works with him for six months and teaches him about the full-time game, they’ve got a hell of a player.

“There aren’t many better than him in the air in this league and if you give him half a chance his finishing is exceptional.

“He’s been great for me, great for St Albans and he would be very hard to replace.

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“I don’t want to lose him but if Sam and some of these younger boys give me some of their time, I and this football club will never stand in their way of progressing to another level.”

Merson has featured in 45 games altogether this year, although many of those were substitute appearances.

And his 24 goals have come in just 15 games, but his boss at Clarence Park says that is just the mark of the man.

“We know what Sam is like,” said Allinson. “We’re going to have our ups and downs with him but when he’s in one of these purple patches you have to leave the boy alone as he will score you goals.

“He is one of those lads who is probably too brave for his own good sometimes. He will throw his head where he shouldn’t sometimes.

“These are some of the things he has to learn to manage better, in terms of when to challenge for a ball and when not.

“But as we’ve always said if you give him half a chance, he will stick it away and that’s his 24th of the season.

“He probably hasn’t started as many as he should so it’s a great return from him and it was important.”