Plymouth, Swansea and West Brom in fight for Exeter City’s Josh Key
Exeter City has often been a breeding ground for talented young players, with their finances often bolstered by departures to bigger clubs.
In recent years, the likes of Ollie Watkins, Ethan Ampadu, Jorday Storey and Matt Grimes have made the Grecians some serious cash with their sales and also sell-on clauses in the case of Watkins, but this summer could be different as two of their top stars could leave on the cheap.
Midfield maestro Archie Collins is one of those and another is wing-back Josh Key, who is attracting considerable interest.
According to Football Insider, Championship trio Swansea City, Plymouth Argyle and West Bromwich Albion are in talks to try and land the 23-year-old right-sided player, who will be able to depart at the end of next week when his contract comes to an end.
Who is Josh Key?
Key was picked up in 2015 by Exeter from Torquay United when the Gulls had to shut down their academy setup, and just over three years later in November 2018 he made his Grecians debut in an EFL Trophy match.
He didn’t become a regular in the Exeter side until the 2020-21 season though as he became the club’s first-choice right-back, playing 48 times in all competitions with seven goal contributions racked up.
His performances in League Two in 2021-22 saw bigger clubs interested in his services as he won promotion to League One with Exeter.
And in 2022-23 he scored four times and got two assists in 48 matches, and his versatility was showed on a number of occasions as he played on the right-hand side of a back three earlier on in the season and even as a striker in two of the final three matches of the campaign.
In his Exeter career to date, Key has made 148 appearances with eight goals scored and 13 assists notched, but it looks as though he’s played his final match for the club.
What is Josh Key’s situation at Exeter City?
Along with his team-mate Collins, Key is expected to move on to pastures new this summer to either the top end of League One or the Championship.
The likes of Sunderland have bid in the past for the 23-year-old but he has stayed with the Grecians until this summer, where his contract is set to expire.
However, Exeter will not lose Key for absolutely nothing as because he’s under the age of 24, the Devon outfit are due compensation regardless of his next destination.
Football Insider claim that Swansea have already made an offer for Key’s services but are prepared to have to go to a tribunal to determine a fair price if they have to, whilst West Brom and Plymouth – who are Exeter’s bitter rivals – are ‘in talks’ with the club regarding a fee.