The Mystery Striker: Who the fans want.

Courtesy of Alan Stuckey_jpg_gallery

This time tomorrow we will have a good idea of who the ‘fourth man’ is going to be, the player that Danny sees as the perfect fit for our squad.

We need a fourth striker, and the name is as elusive as any signings we’ve had in the past. Normally a name is leaked, someone had seen something and it is all revealed hours before the club get chance to. Today is different though, today the Echo have stated a player is having a medical, and nobody seems any the wiser as to who it might be. Here, as requested by some readers, is a break down of the names the fans have been mentioning.

Dave Tarpey

Personally I don’t think Dave Tarpey is what we are looking for, but that does seem foolish when he scores gaols and that is what every team is looking for Seven goals in three games at Maidenhead is not to be sniffed at, especially not when you consider he’s scored as many before August 17th as Adam Marriott and Jack Muldoon bagged in the league all season, combined.

He turned down Coventry in the summer as he plays part-time and has a well-paid job, and any side looking to sign him will need plenty of the folding stuff to make it happen. At 29 I think he represents a risk when splashing the cash, especially as he’s only played a handful of games outside the lower reaches of the non-league scene.

That said, quick, slow, big or little, a striker’s currency is goals and at the moment Dave Tarpey is getting them in abundance. If you’re scoring regularly, what does age matter? He might not be the quick player that would act as a natural complement or alternative for Matt Green but he would certainly be an interesting acquisition nonetheless.

Sadly for all of those working themselves into a frenzy online, I can’t see it happening.

John Akinde

Akinde is the 28-year old Barnet forward that last season scored goals for fun. If Tarpey’s record at Maidenhead looks impressive, Akinde’s at Barnet is even more so. In League Two he grabbed 26 goals last season, on top of the 23 he scored the year before. Make no mistake about it, John Akinde can score goals.

He came to prominence with Alfreton after abortive spells at Portsmouth, Dagenham, Crawley and Wycombe to name a few. He’s a late developer, but boy has he developed. Many Bee’s fans feel if they hadn’t had him last season, they’d be a National League club now. His impact was that significant.

The rumours surrounding Akinde have come about as he hasn’t been playing for Barnet this season, but there is a simple explanation for that: he’s been injured. In a recent interview with Barnet Blogger ‘dansblogtime’, when asked if he knew when he was likely to return Akinde said; “In a nutshell no, I don’t. I’m not too sure at the moment but hopefully I’ll be recovered in a few weeks time but we have to see how it heals. It all depends on how it (The knee) reacts to treatment but hopefully soon I’ll be back.”

He was also asked about whether there was any news on his future, and his response was: “No. I’m sure once I know they’ll (The fans) will know. Right now, I’m at Barnet and we go from there.”

Is the mystery man Akinde? It would be quite coup if it was, given that Luton and Mansfield were after him. Both have made high-profile signings in the last week (Luke Berry / Kane Hemmings) so there is an outside chance we might lure Akinde to Sincil Bank. If we did, it would be a massive coup.

Simeon Akinola

Here’s a name that won’t go away, despite hm only recently moving to Barnet. Akinola (pictured top) is a favourite of Danny’s, and if the rumours are correct the feeling is mutual. A source told me Sim Akinola is ‘desperate’ to join up with Lincoln City, and the only reason he did not in January was the transfer fee. He moved to Barnet, but this season his chances have been limited.

Lincoln City fans have not seen the best of Akinola, not by a long way. He was anonymous as we beat them 3-0 last season, and his performances at Barnet have been muted at best. He’s been labelled as a winger, but his pace and his scoring prowess is more suitable to playing down the centre.

He has started once for Barnet this season, in the Football League Trophy, and his other appearances have been from the bench. If they do retain Akinde then it is likely to be Akinola that loses out, perhaps they’re ready to cash in on a player they invested in to help ensure Football League survival last season?

Rather more interestingly Akinola is represented by the same people that look after Sam Habergham, and given his Cowley connections it might not be beyond the realms of probability that he’s linked with the club. Personally, I would love to see the player at Sincil Bank. A so-called ‘proven’ goal scorer means next to nothing, and I know Danny is a massive admirer of Sim, and he praises him at every opportunity. If Danny Cowley thinks he’s a good player, you can bet your last pound coin he’s a good player.

Corey Whitely / Ollie Hawkins

Whitely

The Dagenham connection, for my money both long shots when discussing new players. Firstly, Corey Whitely would be quite a signing, but my concern here is the money it would take to prise him away from Dagenham. He’s scored six goals in seven games so far, and he is very highly rated indeed. He can play out wide or upfront which would afford some flexibility, but I keep looking at that goal scoring record and it’s nagging at me. Danny speaks of being in a chain, and who could Dagenham be looking to bring in that would allow their crown-jewel to move to Lincoln?

Whitely joined the Daggers on a two-year contract from Enfield Town, having scored 27 goals in 47 games for the Ryman Premier outfit  season. He scored 16 in his first year at the Daggers, and now already has those six this season. He would be a fine signing, although unproven at Football League level. However, I just suspect he too ‘high profile’ to represent good value for money, and I couldn’t see Dagenham letting him go on the cheap.

As for the Ollie Hawkins links, I think they’re pure conjecture and nothing more. Hawkins is a target man, a ‘Matt Rhead’ type player and that isn’t the position we’re looking to fill, or at least I don’t believe it is. Is Ollie Palmer the impact sub, the extra legs and the complement / alternative to Matt Green? If so maybe, just maybe, Hawkins might be a target. He scored 18 times last season, but is currently on a 14 game goalless streak that includes all six of his appearances this season. Hawkins is a good player, make no mistake about that, but unless we’ve had a rethink on Ollie Palmer’s ultimate role I can’t see us getting another target man. Of the two I think Whitely would be a better option, but I can’t see either rocking up at the Bank anytime soon.

James Norwood

Another name I’ve seen on the social media scene is Tranmere striker James Norwood. He’s a talented boy, and at 26-years old he is still very much in his prime. He rose to prominence at Forest Green, scoring twice in the 3-3 draw that saw Gary Simpson lose his job. He found himself joining up with Tranmere after their relegation in 2015, but recently he seems to have fallen down the pecking order at Prenton Park. He was sent off on the opening day of the season, and following two blank starts he recently dropped to the bench, coming on as they beat Solihull Moors 2-0. He hasn’t scored so far this season, is he on his way out of Tranmere?

He’s vying for a starting spot with Andy Mangan, James Alabi, Conner Jennings, Andy Cook, Jack Dunn and George Waring. Maybe Micky Melon sees him as surplus to requirements? It would be a brave shout, Norwood scored 19 in his first season there and 15 last time out.

James Norwood would be a very good signing for Lincoln City, he’s a tricky striker with a real eye for goal. Any player coming in must be able to work the channels should we need to give Matt Green a rest, but perhaps also play alongside our star striker when called upon. James Norwood certainly seems to have the attributes we need, as well as the potential to grow and develop as a player. Is he coming to Lincoln City? Only time will tell.

Conclusion

Like Jon Snow, I know nothing. You, the social media gurus, no nothing either apparently. It is highly likely that any player were are looking to sign is not on this list, especially given the apparent secrecy surrounding their identity. However, there are players on here that could really do a job for City should they be targeted. My own personal preference would be Akinola, perhaps followed by the incredible potential of Corey Whitely. Both would cost money, fitting in with the news that Danny has had a bid accepted on a player, and both appear to fit the bill as mobile players who could complement Green as well as swap around for him directly. They’d also offer a degree of flexibility on the flanks as well, not that we need cover out there at present!