The lowdown on Luke Molyneux - Doncaster Rovers' third signing of the summer

The arrival of Luke Molyneux at Doncaster has sparked the intrigue of fans and experts alike.

By Jimmy Johnson
Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 7:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 7:31 pm
Luke Molyneux won Hartlepool's fans' and players' player of the year awards last season.
Luke Molyneux won Hartlepool's fans' and players' player of the year awards last season.

Highly rated attacking midfielder Luke Molyneux has signed a two-year contract with Doncaster Rovers (which will commence on July 1st) from Hartlepool United on a free transfer.

This marks Rovers’ third signing in what is turning into a fruitful summer. Previously this window, Donny have picked up Harrison Biggins from Fleetwood Town and George Miller – both of whom were also free transfers.

So far, Rovers seem to be proving that you don’t have to break the bank to sign quality footballers – the 24 year old Molyneux certainly looks like a testament to that. Twelve goals and three assists in all competitions for Hartlepool last season makes for encouraging reading.

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Capable of playing any attacking midfield position – be it on the left, on the right or through the middle. Most would argue that he’s best suited to playing on the right, due to his penchant for cutting inside and shooting with his preferred left foot.

Early career

Molyneux’s footballing journey began in Sunderland’s youth academy, where he played alongside the likes of George Honeyman and former Rovers loanee Lynden Gooch. He was quite the hit for Sunderland’s U23’s, as he left with a record of nine goals in 37 games – not bad for a midfielder.

He made a handful of appearances for the Black Cats’ senior team, usually coming on as a late substitute or in the EFL Cup. He would enjoy modest success on loan at Gateshead in the National League in the 2018/19 season, notching up two goals and five assists.

However, it was Molyneux’s time at Hartlepool where he really began turning heads – and his opponent’s ankles!

Rise to prominence at Hartlepool

Molyneux’s first loan spell at Hartlepool wasn’t spectacular, however – he scored only two goals in 15 games, which was far from his best return. This aside, he impressed the Monkey Hangers enough for them to reward his efforts with a permanent contract after he was released by Sunderland.

Over the next two years, Molyneux made steady progress – he wasn’t prolific, but began slowly adding facets to his game, evolving into the player he is today.

The 21/22 season was definitely Molyneux’s breakout year. As previously mentioned, he scored 12 goals and set up a further three, making him Hartlepool’s top goalscorer for the campaign. It’s worth mentioning that three of these goals (and the three assists) came in the EFL Cup, where Hartlepool beat teams like Everton U23s, Sheffield Wednesday and Bolton Wanderers.

Hartlepool reached the semi finals of the EFL Cup, where they fell on penalties to Rotherham United – but not before Molyneux got himself on the scoresheet against the Millers. He scored more goals against Rotherham last season than any of Rovers’ players!

Doncaster have, according to manager Gary McSheffrey, beaten several clubs to Molyneux’s signature. Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling, a long-time supporter of Hartlepool, expressed his surprise on Twitter that he had gone a fellow League Two club instead of venturing into League One or the Championship.