It seems every man and his dog is being linked with City. Last night we apparently ‘missed out’ on Kristian Dennis because he scored a lot last season and was available. There’s no hint that we actually wanted him, but apparently it is one less to aim for.
We’re all guilty of it too, aren’t we. John Akinde would be great because he scored a load a few seasons ago. Forget his injury, forget that the two strikers I’ve mentioned ended up relegated, both would be good signings. In truth, both look good on paper, but remember Danny likes to do due diligence and if there’s a hint of an issue, he wouldn’t move. Has Akinde bounced back from his injury sufficiently? Would £150k be money well spent on Dennis?
Of course, Lyle Taylor’s name keeps getting mentioned even though we’re told by those ‘in the know’ he’s aiming for a Championship club. That hasn’t stopped the media linking him with Southend and lets face it, if he’s going there he may as well come here because there’s a chance we’ll be on a level pegging next season, one way or another. If we did get him it would be a coup, but it’s June tomorrow and I imagine you’re all bored already of hearing the same names.
Even Tom Hopper is now being heavily linked with a move to another League One club. If we fail to get one of these players, will it be seen as a failure by some fans? Maybe, much depends on who we do bring in. Just because we’re talking about them doesn’t make them a Lincoln target, Tom Hopper hasn’t ben confirmed as a Lincoln City target, only on social media. These days anyone can put a player’s name and a club on Twitter and cause a social media storm, look at the Woodyard to Luton tweet.
In order to make it look like we missed out on players a little less, I thought I’d spread the pool of names wider and suggest a few others we might be interested in bringing in just to give those who like speculation something more to chew on.
Here’s a name I’ve heard mentioned once or twice this week, recently relegated Kieran Agard of MK Dons. The 28-year old is a former team-mate of Lee Frecklington, scoring 26 goals for Rotherham a couple of seasons ago. He struggled for MK Dons last year, only scoring eight, but he does have a year left to run on his current deal. His goals return doesn’t look great, but consider he only started 24 games and you’ll see a pattern emerge. In his first season at Franchise FC he scored 14 goals from 48 outings in all competitions., this after arriving as their record signing.
Agard is a name you might have heard before, he’s also been at Bristol City where he scored regularly in League One, but couldn’t step up to the Championship. There’s a train of thought that suggests he could tear up League Two, but some Dons fans have lost their patience with him after a really lacklustre season last time out.
Agard is the big lump we’re half expecting to switch around with Matt Rhead, he’s under 6ft and has played out wide for some of his career as well as though the centre. He’s not been listed and has been in the news talking about working hard over the summer but he would certainly be an interesting acquisition, depending on what he might cost.
Yes, it’s a name you’ve heard before. Oliver Hawkins was the player who apparently looked all set to sign for City before Portsmouth swooped in on deadline day back in August. He could have been the elusive fourth striker, he was the first choice before Simeon Akinola and yet a season later, we’re still without the role he was meant to fill. Is it a case of things coming to those who wait?
Hawkins would cost money, probably less than six figures but not much. The Alex Woodyard money would cover it and then some, but is he what we need? He’s not prolific, but he is a big lad, 6ft 5in and he’s clearly someone Danny had earmarked as suitable for the squad. You know what that means? He got through the references, the videos and all the other requirements needed to convince Danny you’re worth a punt. He passed the tests and at last-minute, he snubbed us. However, Danny would never begrudge a player a move to a league higher, would he? After all, we knew all about Hawkins from his time at Dagenham whilst we were in the National League, he had a break through season right in front of our noses.
Is Hawkins even available? He hit eight goals all in last season, from 26 starts and didn’t provide a single assist. For a big man that means not a single ball landed on his head to be flicked on for a quick striker to latch on to. Are Portsmouth playing to his strengths? If not, are they getting the best out of him? If not again, would they be open to a bit of cash in order to mess around with their squad, giving us the player we coveted back in August?
I know, I know, not this again, right? Kabamba was a player I championed in December 2016, before his move to Portsmouth. I raved about him constantly having followed his progress from National League South to Pompey, but last season his career flattered. He didn’t play up for Pompey once, instead he spent a fruitless spell at Colchester where another big lad called Mandron kept him out of the team, then he went to Aldershot to help them capitulate in their quest for league football. Now he’s as free as a bird, most likely heading back into the non-league having seen his Football League dream shattered.
This one is all about me wishing, hoping that we might draft him in as a fourth striker, an EFL Trophy player, a Cameron Stewart who we can watch develop after a season with Danny and Nicky. I’ve seen Kabamba play, he’s quick and skilful and although he’s raw, there’s a talent there. He isn’t the natural successor to anyone, he would be a project player, but I’m utterly convinced he’d be a great pick for free.
Next page – two League One strikers who could both make a splash at City