As the transfer window approaches I’ve decided to have a look at players to watch, not necessarily those who are interesting Lincoln, but those who may find themselves in our division and therefore influencing our season, directly or indirectly.
The first player who has piqued my interest already has a brother playing in League. In August I described Mo Eisa as ‘completely unproven even at National League level and represents a risk, perhaps a desperate throw of a dice loaded against the Robins.’ Since then he’s bagged nine goals from 20 starts and has scouts across the land scribbling in notebooks. It’s fair to say the Sudan-born striker has been a success and I’m told he’s not even the best brother.
Abobaker Eisa (pictured top) is a left winger, 21-years old and currently playing for Wealdstone in the National League South. He’s quick, not just standard quick either but in one report described as ‘lightening’, with a growing reputation for outstanding technical ability too. He’s currently also got the scouts scribbling, this weekend’s 3-1 defeat at Concord Rangers was the first game in seven he hasn’t managed to score in. From out wide he’s bagged ten this season, no mean feat at all.
Last season he was playing for Uxbridge in the Evo-stick League South Division One, equivalent of Lincoln United’s level. The step up was expected to be one which took time to settle into, but his dazzling displays have alerted several bigger clubs. Whilst reports link him with Charlton, Q.P.R and Oxford United. League One would make a more sensible destination, but there is a further caveat that could shape his future.
Eisa, who scored 19 for Uxbridge last season, is also currently undertaking a degree in Biomedical Science at Brunel University. He’s unlikely to move too far away from the Uxbridge-based educational facility, not until his studies are complete. That would make the likes of Wimbledon favourite for his signature, should they decide he’s worth a punt. However, it also means perhaps Barnet might have a shout and they’re always keen on emerging non-league talent as they proved with Simeon Akinola and Dave Tarpey.
Wherever Eisa does go, if indeed he does, he looks set to have a decent career in the game. Upon his arrival at Wealdstone manager Gordon Bartlett told the club’s official website: “I think that both these youngsters have what it takes to flourish at the higher level. They are hungry players and we have plucked them from lower down the pyramid and we are very hopeful that they will progress with us in the same way that Ciaron Brown did so well last season.”
That does bring me round to the six-foot defender Brown, another impressive Wealdstone player. He arrived from even lower down the spectrum, from Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League side Bedfont Sports, at the beginning of last season. His 2016/17 was almost as impressive as ours, his performances first at left back and latterly centre half caught the eye of a number of scouts. In the summer he had a trial with Sheffield Wednesday, but they decided a move to the Champiosnhip was perhaps a step too far.
He’s returned to Wealdstone and is forming even more of a reputation as a commanding centre half, often getting forward for corners and yet composed on the ball when needed at the back. Sound like anyone we already have?
The key here is to consider Danny’s transfer policy. We ‘only bring players in who will add value to the group’, but over what period of time? I’m told we were looking at Ade Azeez in the summer, a player Danny felt he could develop. Would we be willing to gamble a small amount of our cash on potential stars of the future? Maybe they could join and go back out on loan to the National League.
Danny Cowley has broken all the previous rules at Lincoln City. He’s not a selling manager whereas in the past we’d already have cashed in on Alex Woodyard. He wins things, he spends wisely and he never asks for more money. Maybe, just maybe, he is the manager that sets us off on also being a developing club, bringing players up from the lower ranks, loaning them out and building them up to be good players, much like Norwich City two divisions about us. If he were, Eisa and Brown may well be players that are sat on the radar.