Former Birmingham City, MK Dons and Carlisle United star now free agent after transfer decision

Adam Clayton is a free agent after leaving Rochdale. The former Birmingham City man is leaving after just one year in the National League. (Image: Jan Kruger/Getty Images)Adam Clayton is a free agent after leaving Rochdale. The former Birmingham City man is leaving after just one year in the National League. (Image: Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Adam Clayton is a free agent after leaving Rochdale. The former Birmingham City man is leaving after just one year in the National League. (Image: Jan Kruger/Getty Images) | Getty Images
A former Birmingham City player has been tasked with finding a new club this summer.

Former Birmingham City midfielder Adam Clayton has been released by non-league side Rochdale

Clayton’s stay at Spotland has lasted  just a year, becoming one of four players to depart. The 35-year-old penned a one year contract with the National League outfit and that hasn’t been extended.

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He made a total of 27 appearances in the league, registering four assists. Dale finished 11th and now James McNulty wants to put his own stamp on things. 

In a statement announcing Clayton’s departure along with Max Taylor, Michael Afuye and Tyrese Sinclair, the club said: “We would like to place on record our thanks to those players leaving the club and wish them all the best for the future.”

Clayton had a season at Birmingham City, reuniting with Aitor Karanka after working with him at Middlesbrough. He signed a two-year deal but that ended just over a year in when Lee Bowyer was appointed. The former Manchester City trainee made 16 appearances for the club in total.

Two months after his contract was terminated by Birmingham, he signed terms with Doncaster Rovers. It would be the first time he would play football in 12 months, having not played from January 30, 2021 to January 29, 2022. 

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He suffered relegation to League Two however and was then allowed to join Bradford City for the second-half of the 2022/23 campaign. The Bantams opted not to keep him on after signing him to a short-term deal and for the first time in his career, he dropped into semi-professional football, signing with Rochdale.

Should he wish to prolong his playing careeer then he would be entering his 16th-year in professional football. He began in 2008 as a youngster with Manchester City, but didn't play his first game of senior football until 2009 with Carlisle United. Clayton departed the Etihad for Leeds United in 2010 and spent two seasons there, which also saw him join Peterborough United and MK Dons on loan.

He remained in Yorkshire by joining Huddersfield Town, but it was at Middlesbrough where he spent most of his career, spending six seasons at the Boro, playing just under 250 times. Across the Premier League to the National League, he has played more than 500 games, and whichever club he moves to next will be getting a very experienced player.

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