The Imps have been linked with two players this week as the end of season merry-go-round starts early.
Despite the most crucial game of the season appearing on the horizon and possibly another month of football to cherish, out of contract players are already being linked with a move to City.
The first player we’ve been linked with is Bournemouth winger Ben Whitfeld (pictured top) who has been on loan at Port Vale this season. He had been linked with us in the winter, but signed a loan extension with Vale.
The twitter user ‘Unofficially Vale’ posted a claim that we were in the hunt for Whitfield again, offering more money than they could afford. In a later post, purportedly between the user and Whitfield himself, the player revealed he hadn’t been offered a deal with Vale.
— UNOFFICIAL VALE (@unofficialvale) April 29, 2018
Now we all know @ben_whitfield96 Mrs is a lovely lady… here’s the official line from the man himself on if he is staying or not. I for one hope he’s with us again come August. Ben I’ve probably made this post up though if you ask most people #PVFC pic.twitter.com/WX8MDNaKoD
— UNOFFICIAL VALE (@unofficialvale) April 30, 2018
22-year old Whitfield is a winger or attacking midfielder and is out of contract this summer. He spent time in the youth set up at Bradford City before a move to Guiseley and later Bournemouth. He’s had loan spells at Kidderminster and Yeovil as well as Port Vale, but hasn’t broken into the set up at Dean Court.
He was linked with a move to Lincoln when his initial six-month deal expired at Vale Park, but Neil Aspin moved quickly to retain his services. By his own admission, his form in the latter half of the competition was disappointing, but he is still widely revered by Port Vale fans.
This would certainly seem like the sort of move we’d go for, although I do wonder if Tom Pett has filled the ‘diminutive wide man’ role already. Whitfield is 5ft 5in, Pett is 5ft 8in which suggests we’re going shorter out wide, if the links turn out to be correct.
The next link is with Cheltenham Town captain Carl Winchester, and comes from the hallowed pages of Gloucestershire Live. He’s played 44 matches for the Robins this season in a variety of positions, including right back and midfield.
We’ve met him before too, he was part of the Oldham side that lost in the FA Cup at Sincil Bank in December 2016. He lasted just five more matches before hooking up with Gary Johnson at Whaddon Road.
He started out at Linfield before spending seven years with Oldham Athletic. He joined in 2010, but his ‘breakthrough’ season came in 2014/15 shortly after manager Lee Johnson decided against giving him a free transfer. In total he made 140 appearances before his Cheltenham move.
He represented Northern Ireland for U15 to U21 level and grabbed himself a solitary full international cap in a Celtic Cup match against Wales in 2011.
The paper has Forest Green down as potential suitors, as well as Oxford United. I can see we might be interested in Winchester, the League One experience he has would be a benefit and he’s been excellent for Cheltenham this season, but I fear he would be seen by many as an underwhelming signing. For some reason, many of our fans expect players from a higher level or who they have heard of, perhaps incorrectly, but Winchester wouldn’t fit that billing.
Please vote for me in the Football Blogging Awards 2018
I’ve reached the final ten in the ‘Football Club Content Creator’ category in these highly prestigious and exciting awards to be presented at the Alexandra Palace in London on May 17th.
I NEED YOUR VOTES
You can vote two ways, one is online, the other is via Twitter.
To vote on Twitter, please copy and paste the Tweet below. Please, don’t just retweet as they don’t count, you must produce an original tweet.
I am voting in @theFBAs for @staceywestblog to win the #FBAfootballclub category #FBAs