LUCAS Akins has left Burton Albion after the club agreed to release him from his contract so that he could join Mansfield Town.
Akins joined the Brewers in 2014 after Gary Rowett made him a target as he looked to win promotion from League Two.
He played a key part in back-to-back promotions that saw the Brewers play in the Championship for the first time in the club’s history.
Akins made 345 appearances in all competitions, scoring 71 times, and playing in virtually every position for the Brewers. He was the supporters’ choice as Player of the Season in both 2018 and 2019.
Brewers manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink said: “Lucas originally put in a transfer request a year ago but at that time we didn’t have a ready replacement and couldn’t let him go.
“He put in another request in this window and the club has recognised his valuable service to Burton Albion and has allowed him to leave so that he can sign for Mansfield Town.
“We understand that players need to secure their long-term future and we weren’t in a position to talk about new contracts at this stage.
“Therefore, we thank Lucas for all he has done for the club and wish him well for the future.”
Akins said: “After seven and half fantastic years my time at the club has come to an end. During this period, the best of my life to date both on and off the pitch, we have created and shared some special memories whilst building on the superb work of previous Brewers teams, to continue to make history together in achieving consecutive promotions to climb up to the club’s highest league position and to reach a semi-final of a major domestic cup competition.
“I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to represent such a wonderful club and to have had the pleasure of meeting some amazing people along the way. I would like to thank each and every individual associated with Burton who has made my whole experience such a positive and complete one. Thank you for your unconditional support throughout and please continue to support the team moving forward as I believe more success is around the corner!
“I sincerely wish you all nothing but the best in the future and look forward to returning soon.”