Shrewsbury Town chief executive Brian Caldwell has criticised Will Grigg and Sunderland for going against their word as the striker got away for the second January running. Town had pursued a loan deal for Northern Ireland international Grigg, 29, and appeared to have netted the man they hoped would boost their goal return in the final week of the January window. Shrewsbury, Sunderland and Grigg had agreed a loan deal for the former Wigan hitman to spend the second half of the season at Montgomery Waters Meadow, but the move was delayed until the Black Cats brought in a replacement, with Ross County’s Ross Stewart on their radar. And the delay alerted other clubs to the striker’s signature, such as long-term suitors Oxford and eventually winners of Grigg’s signature MK Dons – the club where Grigg had previously enjoyed a prolific spell – who eventually confirmed his loan on Monday night’s deadline. Caldwell told Shrewsweb of the Grigg saga, which went against Town for the second January window running: “I’ll tell you the full story, we did agree everything with Sunderland and we did agree everything with Will. “Obviously from Sunderland’s point of view they were looking to get someone else in, with Ross Stewart, which we were kind of aware of.
“Having been giving his word that he would be coming to Shrewsbury, and having been given the word from Sunderland that he wouldn’t be going anywhere else.” Former Shrews boss Sam Ricketts tried to bring Grigg on loan from Sunderland in January 2020, but interest from Oxford, where Grigg’s head was turned, scuppered that move. Town chief Caldwell believes Dons and their manager Russell Martin ‘got inside Grigg’s head’ over the weekend and persuaded him to go against the agreement and instead switch to Stadium MK. “Unfortunately there was then a hold-up and (the transfer) then appearing in media circle last Friday alerted MK Dons and MK Dons and (boss) Russell Martin got in his head Friday to Sunderland, even though we had an agreement ready and waiting to be signed with Sunderland and agreement with Will ready to come all of last week,” Caldwell added of the public pursuit for the high-calibre frontman, who is yet to score a league goal this term.
“In football sometimes these things can happen, I like to think if I give my word to somebody that I wouldn’t let them down, maybe I’m just too honest for that.” Town, who let Jason Cummings depart for Scotland, did bring an extra centre-forward to the club late on deadline day, as former Aberdeen frontman Curtis Main checked in a short-term deal for a second spell at the club.