Imps former League Two rivals resigned to losing star: Could he be the key to our success next season?

Courtesy Graham Burrell

Lincoln City’s promotion rivals Exeter City look set to lose two key players after their failure to make the League Two play-offs.

The Grecians beat us in the semi-final last season, but have struggled to match their achievements since Paul Tisdale departed in the summer. An early 3-0 win at their place underlined our credentials and perhaps gave them a hint of things to come.

They finished outside the top seven after final day heartbreak, their place taken by Newport, who secured a 1-1 draw with Mansfield Town this week in the first semi-final.

They’re now set to lose two of their biggest stars, both of which might be of interest to the Imps. The first, Hiram Boateng, is a player we’ve championed a lot on the blog and who could make a massive difference to our squad.

Keeper Christy Pym also looks set to leave St James’ Park as he enters the summer without a deal on the table. He’s a fine stopper at this level and if there was a question mark over Josh Vickers’ fitness, Danny might want to draft in a fresh keeper.

Speaking to Devon Live, manager Matt Taylor admitted that he was resigned to losing the pair.

Christy has been a fantastic servant for this football club, he really has and I fully expect him to go on to bigger and better things,” Taylor said.

“Unfortunately, I had the likes of Christy and Hiram in the last year of their contracts and the first thing I did was to try and get them tied down, but when a player goes into the last year of their contract, they hold the cards.

“They weren’t undervalued, but they felt they weren’t fully valued early on, so Christy goes with my best wishes – if he does go, but I expect him to go – and I want the fans and everyone associated with the club to be really respectful to Christy.”

It’ Boateng who has really impressed me and he’s the one I’d like to focus on for a second. He’s a central midfielder, but his energy and endeavour is also suited to the left hand side of the field. He’s been known to play left back as well as left wing. That sort of versatility would surely appeal to Danny, although the player’s main attributes would suit another altogether different role.

He’s only 23-years-old and if Danny has the scope to offer a two-year deal, or maybe three, we could see a big profit in the future as well. We have to think about player trading and bringing lads in for free who might earn us enough at a later date to kick on as a club.

I could see him behind John Akinde, pushing on into the ten role. I know we’ve got plenty of central midfielders but I’d definitely make a concession for Boateng. He’s a player that fits the bill in terms of mental attributes; he’s determined and focused and when Danny signs a player they’re the first things he looks for. He might be talented, but the former Crystal Palace man is also very much part of a unit. He showed that in the 2017/18 season at Exeter.

There’s also a chance his value has dipped after spending most of the season out injured. We know Danny and the sports science team have a great track record of keeping a player fit and getting the very best out of them and I suspect Boateng might have that at the back of his mind when making a move. As a club, we’ve got to be a big draw right now, League One football and laden with trophies of late.

Could we sign Boateng? He’s certainly a big name and could have a similar impact as Bruno Andrade, albeit in a different role. I firmly believe we need to fill that ten role, that’s the key to us being bottom half and top in my opinion. The rest of the side is more or less in place, bar the peppering a talent, but bring Boateng in and I think we’d be pushing the top half next season.

In other League One news, midfielder Ouss Cisse has confirmed he’s leaving MK Dons. He’s not the sort of player we need, but he’s a talented boy and it’ll be interesting to see where he ends up.

There’s also talk of Ryan Lowe having been interviewed by Plymouth. I wonder if the spectre of financial ruin hanging over Bury is getting too much. Tom Miller tweeted about not being paid last night and perhaps Lowe wants out. It’s a sad situation for the club to be in, but they might find life very difficult back in League One next season.

Darren Ferguson has confirmed that he does not want to sign George Boyd and Paul Coutts next season. Both were top players for Posh, but it sounds as though budgeting might be an issue;  “If money was no object I’d probably try to sign George, but I’d have no idea where to play him!” said Ferguson.

“I did speak to him last week, but bringing him back is not feasible. He’s 33 now and we have to move on. It‘s the same with Paul Coutts who was also a top player for us.”


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