There has been some rumblings of discontent on social media platforms recently at Lincoln’s lack of activity in the transfer market. Danny Cowley faced questions from BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s Rob Makepeace about the situation, and he described making sure we get the right value for money.
However, Imps fans should not be panicking at all. Aside from the fact that twelve months ago we had only made one signing at this stage (Alex Woodyard), there is also the situation at several of our rivals to be considered. Steve Evans might have been a busy man at Field Mill, but over a quarter of the league have yet to make a signing.
Accrington Stanley have not yet brought a player in, and they released six players this summer, including ex-Imp Elliot Parish. Accrington finished 13th in the table last time out, five points outside of the play-off race.
Our friends from Barnet have also not signed anybody up as yet, and they’ve also released a clutch of players, including Tom Champion. All in all they’ve let five go, and haven’t strengthened despite finishing 15th last season, 13 points shy of the play-off race.
Carlisle and Exeter both featured in the play-offs, and neither has added to their ranks yet either. Carlisle have lost seven players this summer, ex-Imps Ben Tomlinson and Patrick Brough have been released, whilst Mark Gillespie rejected a new deal, and Jabo Ibehre joined up with Cambridge. The Grecians lost in the play-off final to Blackpool, and they may feel equipped to go again as they have only released three players, including former Imp Bobby Olejnik.
Colchester are another side in our division yet to show their hand in the transfer market, and they do need to add to their ranks. They were just a point short of seventh placed Blackpool, but they’ve shed eight players, including leading scorer Chris Porter who has defected to Crewe.
Still not convinced? 18th placed Morecambe have released three players, and they’ve yet to strengthen. Relegated Swindon Town are in a similar place too, only they released 12 players and as yet manager David Flitcroft hasn’t signed anybody on. Even Gareth Ainsworth at Wycombe hasn’t brought in any new faces, and they finished just one point away from the play-offs as well. Finally Yeovil have lost nine players, three of which they wanted to keep for next season, and they haven’t replaced any either.
Including us, that is ten teams from a field of 24 that haven’t signed any new faces as yet. Port Vale and Luton have only signed one each, whilst Notts County, Crawley and Stevenage have drafted in two a piece. In truth only nine teams have signed more than two new faces, and remember we have secured the services of Callum Howe, Luke Waterfall and Paul Farman which gives us more to be happy about than sides such as Yeovil who are losing players they wanted to keep.
Mansfield may have done quick business, and it remains to be seen if that is good business. Fifteen clubs in League Two have signed a total of eight players between them, whilst three (Mansfield, Cambridge and Coventry) have brought in 23 between them. Whilst fans might get worked up at the lack of activity, it isn’t unusual at this stage of pre-season.