All Whites striker Max Mata to return to English club after loan deal ends

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New Zealand international Max Mata will not stay at League of Ireland club Sligo Rovers when his loan to the club ends in May.

Rovers manager John Russell says Mata (23) will return to English League One club Shrewsbury Town who agreed the loan to the Irish club to help the forward get more game time.

Shrewsbury had signed Mata from Sligo Rovers for the 2023-24 season.

“I think it was always his ambition that when the season finished, he could get a break and let his body readjust, come back fresh in pre-season in July,” Russell told The Irish Sun.

“The deal we did was we could keep him until May and get an extra couple of games out of him as their season finishes in April.

“And it will benefit him and us to get him back enjoying his football and scoring goals.

“But he will get that break because he can’t go back into pre-season without getting that break. It wouldn’t be right for him or the club that are paying his wages.”

Since returning to Sligo, Mata has scored four goals.

His All Whites teammate Nando Pijnaker is at Sligo Rovers but the defender is recovering from broken ribs.

READ MORE: Injured All Whites defender Nando Pijnaker faces lengthy spell on sidelines >>>>

Mata played his club football in New Zealand for Onehunga Sports, Eastern Suburbs and the Wellington Phoenix reserves, and made his All Whites debut in 2019.

Meanwhile, a 1-1 draw at Charlton Athletic on Sunday April 21 (NZT) has ensured Shrewsbury Town are safe from relegation and will play their 10th consecutive League One season.

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