Finally, John Akinde has become an Imp. You might have seen it on social media already, unless you’ve been asleep for the last hour. Like I have.
It brings to a close a week of speculation, a week of worriers worrying, ex agents lying and others secretly hoping. Personally, I always had faith we’d capture him if it was at all possible, now we have. As Helgy keeps posting, Nevermind the B0ll0cks, here’s Big John Akinde.
The signing marks something of a watershed moment in my Lincoln City supporting life time. never before have I known us to go out and buy a player of such huge repute, not one with a proven track record of scoring goals. One might point to Phil Stant or Joe Allon, but Akinde is different.
He’s powerful, quick and has a natural instinct for scoring goals. From what I’ve seen of him, he’s a born finisher, from the Liam Hearn mould in that respect. The goal he bagged against us in January was pure brilliance, utilising his close ball skills as well as his deadly finishing. I didn’t appreciate it at the time, nor for one second did I think he’d be in red and white seven months later.
Once again, Lincoln City have turned heads, just like last season when Michael Bostwick signed. There isn’t a club in League Two who wouldn’t have wanted Akinde, there’s not a first team in the division he wouldn’t walk into. Kane Hemmings and Kristian Dennis would be split up to accommodate him, that is how good he is.
There’s also the personal circumstances that had to be negotiated, I know his partner has a good job and they’ve got their dream house in Kent. This wasn’t a straightforward move, not a free and easy Josh Ginnelly type who can bunk down with three other lads and live the life of Riley. It’s no Bozzie either, living an hour down the road and moving through convenience. Akinde has moved here for ambition, pure ambition. That is exciting and in the story of Lincoln City, it is unique.
Even when we signed Gary Taylor-Fletcher, a superb player who lit up Sincil Bank at times, he was rebuilding a shattered career. Akinde might have had one season without a double-digit goal tally, but he will now enjoy a pre-season with Lincoln, serve time in the friendlies and hit the ground running.
I saw one happy person’s immediate response was effectively ‘who we signing next’. Take a day off chap, we’ve finally got the striker everyone thought we couldn’t get. The one signing that has eluded us for too long. Why not, for once, enjoy the moment?
Tactically Akinde joining City means we can change our pattern of play significantly. We won’t just have to go long now, although the effective diagonal ball will still be used. He’ll bring more out of Tom Pett and Lee Frecklington, maybe looking to get the ball into feet and have them overlapping too. He’ll then offer a double threat, either as a creator or a finisher. Remember, 22-goal Bruno Andrade has to fit in there somewhere and 17-goal Matt Green will almost certainly be Akinde’s partner. That’s a scary array of attacking talent.
Has there been a more impressive signing in Lincoln’s recent history? Maybe, it could be argued Michael Bostwick or even Lee Frecklington were pretty big deals for us. Has there been a bigger statement made by the club in the whole time I’ve been following them? I’m not so sure. The fee is thought to be around £150,000 to start with, doubling our record purchase, then there’s bound to be a clause or two in there. This is a big investment and I would imagine it is a decision the board have not taken lightly. The presence of a three-year deal proves that.
Last summer someone asked me about Akinola, getting him mixed up with Akinde. I laughed and said the difference was Simeon Akinola might be affordable for us, John Akinde never would be. What a difference a year makes. I don’t think my feelings could be any clearer on this, it was almost a fortnight ago I identified Akinde as the one forward I’d love to see in a Lincoln shirt. I’ve got my wish.
Of course, fans were delighted on Twitter and what better way to round off a glorious week in which the sun shines, England win on penalties and John Akinde joins Lincoln City, than with a few happy tweets?
Bloody marvellous news! ??⚪️
— Mark Churchill (@church197) July 6, 2018
Great bit of business as all the signings so far have been. Patience is key in the Football League transfer window.
— Charlie Russell (@elwriteback) July 6, 2018
GET IN!!!!!!!!!!! WELCOME ABOARD THE LINCOLN LOCO JOHN!!!!!!!!!
— David Robson (@DavidImp1972) July 6, 2018
Bigger than the World Cup this….
— Ryan. (@Razzmoss) July 6, 2018
Gonna need some tissues. In a mess ???
— Josh Flowers (@LCFCJFLOWERS) July 6, 2018
Great news, good start to the weekend ???
— Nigel Cooke (@Jomtienimp) July 6, 2018
That is a hell of a signing
— DeeJam | James (@DeeJamF_M) July 6, 2018