We’ve recently been linked a move for Oldham Athletic full back Rob Hunt, as reported by the Sun’s Alan Nixon.
I shared the news on Sunday as reported on Football League World, but didn’t follow it up on here due to technical difficulties. Those issues have now passed and as I thought I’d look at the full back and whether he looks like a viable option.
I would like to stress I don’t read the Sun, but follow Nixon due to his numerous stories which I cover on FLW. It’s unusual for one to appear for Lincoln though, he usually peddles stuff from the top two divisions. It’s not as though he’d be hunting out stories based on the Imps, so the question has to be posed; why would he get the titbit?
It’s most likely an agent feeding him something to spark interest, showing Lincoln are interested and they’re going for promotion, portrays him as a player capable of playing at the top end of League Two, or in League One. The initial report suggested Hunt is out of contract in the summer too, but that’s wrong. He signed a three-year deal in July 2017, meaning he has a year left to run. There’s still likely to be value for an agent in terms of a signing on fee if he moves, which is why he’s been hawking him about.
He’s a full back and is equally as adept on both flanks and that did pique my interest. Danny likes to get away with as few players in the full back positions as he can in the squad, bringing in James Brown to make our current quota of fit players three. If we signed a lad who can play on either flank, perhaps he could make do with three next season, or four if Sam is fit.
A bit about Hunt; He’s 23-years-old and came through the ranks at Brighton and Hove Albion, a known Cowley hunting ground. That’s where we borrowed Joe Ward and JMD, so perhaps there’s a link in place, or at least a scout who knows what Hunt is all about. He made just five appearances for them in four years, three of which came in the EFL Cup. He did play 17 minutes of Championship football in 2016/17, but fell down the pecking order and joined Oldham on loan.
He played ten times for them in League One, starting nine matches before picking up an injury against Oxford. He was soon back at Boundary Park, signing a two-year deal in the summer of 2017.
Last season he started 32 League One matches as the Latics were relegated and so far this season, he’s started 25. He hasn’t played for them since they were beaten 2-1 by Macclesfield Town on January 19th.
What is interesting is that he was linked with a number of Championship clubs in the summer, including Nottingham Forest. That, along with the BHA links and the full back versatility, makes me think this might be the sort of deal Danny would look to get done.
The big stumbling block, as ever, has to be that contract. we’d need to pay a transfer fee and if we go up, spending on a full back is likely to be down the list of priorities. It’s thought he has a £300,000 release clause in his contract which, by my estimations, is around £300,000 more than Danny is likely to spend on a full back if Harry Toffolo and Neal Eardley are both fit and eager.