2017/18 Opinion – Defenders Part One

Scott Wharton

I’ll happily express my thoughts on his long term future before assessing how he did for us this season: he won’t be playing League Two football in 2018/19.

If the was a successor to Sean Raggett, and I’ve already said there probably won’t be, Scott Wharton is as close as it gets. He’s proven himself to be great in the air, scoring twice in his 14 starts for the club. One was a header, the other a wells-truck effort against Grimsby which showed his class on the ball.

Why would we doubt his class with the ball at his feet? He came from Blackburn with a big reputation, billed as a potential future star for them but needing game time. When he got it, he immediately cemented himself a place in the back four and hasn’t looked like losing it since. Danny built up the ‘left-sided centre back’ angle as if the flexibility was behind bringing Wharton in, but he was a direct replacement for Rob Dickie and a much better one at that.

That isn’t me bitterly lamenting Dickie either, but Scott Wharton has looked every inch a third-tier player. If we go up, maybe he returns on loan, but he’s a Blackburn boy and is surely focused on doing whatever he can to force himself into their reckoning. They’ve got good players and he’ll do well to get regular Championship football, but there’s no reason why he can’t sit on the fringes there and bide his time.

Before then he has one, maybe two more matches to write himself into Imps folklore. He’ll finish the season with more starts that Dickie, but the comparison should stop there. Even in dropping into left back he showed a versatility that we’ve perhaps missed. I’d wager Danny would love to have him in the squad for next season, he fits that ‘League One quality’ player our gaffer craves and his performances are always committed and resolute.

Sadly, I think we’ve seen the last of him at Sincil Bank, I just hope he gets the chance to star at Wembley in a couple of week’s time.

THANKS TO GRAHAM BURRELL FOR THE PHOTOS

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