News broke yesterday of Tim Akinola heading off to Huddersfield Town, with reaction varying on social media.
Akinola had been tipped to break through at Sincil Bank, with his Lincoln United loan spell suggesting he had the physical attributes needed to push on and become a first team player.
That was followed by whispers of him going to Huddersfield on trial. I can reveal I contacted the club at the time, looking for clarification of the situation. This was in March I believe and I was told that someone would be in touch to offer some insight.
That didn’t happen, but I suspect only because the staff had much more on their mind than some journalist looking to write an article about a youth team player. The league was there to be won and I didn’t pursue the call because of it.
It was my understanding, not what I was told but my understanding, that Tim Akinola wasn’t going to be offered a professional deal with the club at the end of his contract. That may not be the case, I’m covering myself here as I don’t want to be accused of writing guff, but I felt that any clarification on the situation was going to be made because he was freely allowed to trial with Huddersfield with our blessing.
Any financial recompense would only cover six months of his development
I’ve seen silly talk of us getting a fee the same size as a first team player; again I may be wrong but I can’t see that being the case at all. Tim had only been with us for a short spell and any tribunal fee would only compensate us for the time he played for the Imps. He had been playing football in Leicester for youth sides before joining us in the summer, so surely any financial recompense would only cover six months of his development.
This isn’t a Jack Hobbs situation, he’d been with the club from the age of 11. Even Scott Loach fetched us a tidy sum, but again we’d been responsible for a longer portion of his development. Tim has simply passed through our squad on to other things,]
Of course, it’s hugely disappointing when a player who showed promise doesn’t make it to the first team. I guess there is only a limited number of places we can afford to give to young players within our first team squad; one would hope Jordan Adebayo-Smith will join Ellis on a full time deal at some point, but even if every player in the youth set-up impressed, there would only be so many places at the first team table.
Letting Tim go, if indeed that is what happened, is a gamble, but a side with Under 19 and Under 23 teams can offer him more than we can currently with just the one youth team. Sadly, our budget doesn’t stretch as far and for that reason this sort of event is perhaps unavoidable.