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Steve Evans hopes Gillingham can keep hold of players such as Vadaine Oliver and Kyle Dempsey this summer

Gillingham manager Steve Evans believes it’s vital they keep hold of their best remaining players this summer.

There’s already been speculation regarding captain Kyle Dempsey and defender Jack Tucker, while 20-goal striker Vadaine Oliver is sure to have made people take notice.

Vadaine Oliver and Jack Tucker could be on the wishlist of others this summer Picture: Andy Jones
Vadaine Oliver and Jack Tucker could be on the wishlist of others this summer Picture: Andy Jones

But the Gills have already lost three mainstays from the 2020/21 squad after goalkeeper Jack Bonham, defender Connor Ogilvie and winger Jordan Graham rejected new deals at Gillingham in the hope of moving onto bigger and better things.

It would be easy for the Gills to cash in on some of their contracted players but that would only make manager Steve Evans’ life even harder as he looks to find replacements.

The Gillingham manager said: “We need to try and keep our stronger players now and make us stronger than we were, because the challenge in League 1 will be tougher with clubs like Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham and Wycombe (all relegated from the Championship), who are all very strong, plus the likes of Bolton (promoted from League 2), it is a tougher league.”

Sunderland will be staying in the division as well having lost out in the play-offs to Lincoln City. Oxford United, Charlton, Portsmouth and Ipswich Town will also be hoping to make a challenge for second tier during the 2021/22 season.

“I hope we can keep all of the players,” Evans continued. “Vadaine, people like that, I hope they will all be there, we can’t lose the players we have lost and then sell others, that would make it almost impossible.

“Last summer we had six contracted players, we have similar numbers now and we have a lot of work to do in six weeks to get our squad in place for the start of the season.”

Evans has already started the recruiting process after the club agreed on deals they were able to offer to several potential new players.

More: All systems go at Gillingham

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