Southend United left back Ben Coker has appeared to confirm he’s on the move to Lincoln this summer, in a thread saying goodbye to the Southend supporters.
Coker has been heavily linked with a switch to City, both in Southend press and Lincoln press. Of course, as we know with the Danny WBA rumours, any story can appear to come from multiple sources, but Coker’s replies and his initial wording do point to an Imps move.
Some 6 years ay!!!! Can’t thank everyone enough for the support and belief shown in me over the last 6 years! Southend will always be in my heart! Fresh start and a new chapter in my career but what a great club to play for !!! Will be seeing you next year #UTB pic.twitter.com/YJmmhGcmT3
— ben coker (@bencoker24) 18 May 2019
Firstly, as he was saying cheerio to the Southend fans, he added the line ‘will be seeing you next year’. That means he’s staying in League One and therefore there are 20 teams he could be signing for, given that we don’t know which of Newport or Tranmere have come up yet, nor which of Sunderland and Charlton are staying down.
Further down the thread is the largest hint yet that the Imps move is happening. A Southend fan commented that Lincoln is a long way to travel for a barbeque, with Coker not actually saying words, but a series of emojis that seem to indicate the speculation is spot on.
— ben coker (@bencoker24) May 18, 2019
There’s plenty of love for the former Chelmsford man on social media, but we’re more interested right now on how it fits into our current squad. If he does sign it presents the possibility that we could have three left backs at the club next season; Coker, Harry Toffolo and Sam Habergham. Considering that in the last three seasons that’s about as many as we’ve had in total, it’s very interesting.
Here’s a theory that I’ve come up with which fits my thoughts on Harry Toffolo. I really like Toff and I think there’s plenty of scope for him to be a key player next season, but what if it wasn’t at left back? I’ve always thought his attacking qualities outweigh his defensive attributes, not saying he’s a bad defender but he’s much more of a wing back than a left back.
What if we were to start seeing him playing further up the field, in place of Bruno Andrade? If our 11-goal hero is heading off to the Championship, it would make sense to see Toffolo push further forward. He often overlapped opposition full backs and at times caused as much trouble in the area as Bruno did. He popped up with a couple of goals too, something else he has in his game.
We think there’s scope to sign Coker, give Sam a one-year deal to provide cover and for Harry to move further up the field. Then, if we do cash in on Bruno, there’s a chunk of money that can be spent on the elusive number ten behind John, or indeed a third winger to complement Harry Anderson and Harry Toffolo.
Whatever the facts are, Ben Coker seems to have suggested he’s coming up to Lincoln and looking at some of their fans reactions, we’re getting a good one if (and it’s a big if) he regains full fitness. Mind you, having seen Michael O’Connor and Neal Eardley thrive after bad injuries, there’s no reason to think Coker will be any different.