Will we ever welcome Simeon Akinola?

It’s taken a year longer than some might have imagined, and thus far it’s taken 24 hours longer than almost every Imps fan imagined. Is Simeon Akinola going to become a Lincoln City player?

He’s been seen at training and around the ground today. Barnet clearly didn’t fancy him up top and have willingly let him go, and yet still we await news. As recently as half an hour ago Leicester unveiled a new signing, is it just that the FA haven’t had time to rake through all of the paperwork? I understand when you have a workload, but this isn’t like trying to sell 9,000 Arsenal tickets from two terminals in an overworked office is it? This is the FA, and surely it’s just a matter of stamping a fax and saying yes or no to us?

Simeon Akinola was one of Danny’s ‘Class of 2016’, a member of the part-time Braintree side that had no right to storm the play-offs given the teams they kept out of the frame. He’s quick, strong and does have an eye for goal, and Danny rates him incredibly highly. In 2016 he described him in the Sky Sports: “Simeon has Championship pace and agility, he’s unbelievably quick and another player who doesn’t give defenders a moment of rest. He can change a game in a minute and one of his best strengths is he’s a great counter-attacking player, who can sit on the shoulder of the last defender but he can also play wide. He loves cutting in from the left onto his right foot. He’s intelligent off the pitch as well… he’s got a first class degree in economics.”

According to Wikipedia Danny it is actually Systems Engineering, but then according to Wikipedia he was a Lincoln player at 11pm last night.

He’s not prolific, but he does have a penchant for the outlandish. Last season he won the Barnet ‘Goal of the Season’ award for an audacious over head kick, but in truth he had a rough time at Barnet. After Danny left Braintree he scored six times before a £40k move to Barnet, but he hasn’t had the best of times with the Bees. He did score twice, but this season he’s been restricted to coming off the bench, and with them securing Maidenhead striker Dave Tarpey he became surplus to requirements.

As we understand a deal for an ‘unnamed striker’ was agreed at 10.50pm, the paperwork sent off at 10.59pm…… and the wait was on. The wait is still on. Once again a deadline day saga kept us glued to our screens, but for once it was incoming and not departing, as was the case last August (Margetts) and last January (Robinson). This year the 11pm deadline passed, but club sources were keeping the mystery alive asking people to stay awake. Those that did were awake until morning, and I imagine the live press conference broke viewing records for the Imps feed! Now it’s getting a bit like the TV series Lost… people are wondering if sticking with the saga was worth it. Let’s hope it is.

What can we expect from Akinola, should we get the go-ahead from the FA? Well, he is certainly quick and he appears to offer options out wide as well as up front. He isn’t the dedicated centre forward many have suggested we needed, but as I’ve said all along I didn’t feel we needed that role. We needed pace, a direct player who could cover a couple of positions if needed. Danny will try to utilise him down the middle I feel, but with Josh Ginnelly offering a similar option it does give us some real variety.

I think we may be getting an unpolished diamond, a rough gem ready to be fashioned into one of our crown jewels. Of course Simeon is going to be raw, he’s only played a couple of months of full-time football in his career. He is only 25 though, he has bags of potential and despite his time at Barnet I think Danny and Nicky are the key to unlocking it. I believe he went to Barnet with them hoping for instant impact in the starting eleven, and I’m not sure Sim was in a position to offer that. He’s now had six months full-time football in his career, and although I still don’t see him as a starter at the moment, he could bring an added dimension to the squad. If the fax arrived in time.

Skip to around 1 minute in on this video. Boom.

This move, should it occur, proves Danny is a rational and measured man. I said if he brought anyone in on deadline day then it would be someone he knew, someone on whom he had conducted the due diligence and research. Ultimately, how could it be anyone other than Akinola? How could anyone have possibly signed for Lincoln City at last-minute if Danny didn’t already know them inside out, from how quickly they run the 100m to which bedtime stories they prefer?

Simeon Akinola (could, maybe) almost bring us to the position Danny wanted us to be in when he set out his transfer policy way back in June. One for each position he said, and aside from a full-back we have one for each position. This year we are looking more fluid as a squad, more players can cover different positions than last time out. This season we have Neal Eardley, Michael Bostwick, Josh Ginnelly, Sim Akinola (possibly) and Elliott who can all switch positions if needed. Maybe that is a symptom of the Football League, maybe it is just an evolving squad.

I can’t wait to see Simeon Akinola in a Lincoln shirt, 12 months and 1 day later than I imagined he might be.

Now, let’s hit F5 on the browser, refresh Twitter and stick the kettle on. Again. It could be a long night. Again.