Chesterfield’s ambition will be laid bare in January – not so much by who arrives, but by who stays.
It’s hardly the most explosive revelation that the exploits of Kristian Dennis and Joe Rowley have put them on the radar at other clubs.
In fact their form will have merely lifted them back to the top end of scouting lists – both have attracted attention in the not-so-distant past.
Ten-goal Dennis is on course for a 25-goal season.
Of the top six League Two marksmen, Dennis has played the fewest minutes and is just two goals behind the division leader Billy Kee.
Goalscorers are hard to come by, there will be a plethora of clubs seeking a striker.
And 18-year-olds who can run with the ball, make things happen in and around the box and comfortably cope with the rigorous physical demands of the Football League are like hen’s teeth.
Rowley, in recent weeks, has confirmed what was already suspected – he’s a special talent destined for big things.
Had Jack Bonham not got his fingertips to Rowley’s dinked shot at the end of that searing solo run through the middle, Rowley would have had goal of the season wrapped up and added to his value.
But even if silly money is offered n January, now is surely not the time to cash in.
At the Proact he’s got a real chance of playing week in and week out, under a manager with a proven pedigree in developing young talent.
Moving to a ‘big club’ can mean a lot less first team football – as Gboly Ariyibi found out by signing for Forest in January and not playing a single competitive match until he was loaned to MK Dons in August.
If Rowley is serious about making it then sticking around at Sheffield Road might be the best bet for at least the short term.
And if Chesterfield are serious about staying in the Football League, they could prove it by rejecting the notion of selling him or Dennis.
One of the best things Gary Caldwell did was get the pair on deals that run to 2019, ensuring that when January rolls around, there’s no real need to sell.
In recent Januarys we’ve seen the Morsys and O’Sheas leave to further their own ambitions with ambitious clubs in Town’s division.
How refreshing would it be for Chesterfield to put ambition before a fee that, let’s face it, isn’t likely to make a major dent in the debt?
The financial benefits of League status should dictate that, on this occasion, they can’t afford to sell.