Has Danny just dropped an Adebayo-Smith first team hint?

Courtesy Lincoln City FC

Shall we be honest here; the lack of strikers is a concern. It’s not a worry, but the only striker we have with proper first team experience right now is John Akinde.

We can talk about loan moves for Sam Surridge, Tyler Walker and Joe Nuttall as much as we want, but they’re players likely to be loaned out later, rather than sooner. We could be going into the Accrington game with big John up top and young Jordan Adebayo-Smith on the bench.

Danny had previously suggested the exciting 18-year-old might be going out on loan but, in an interview on the official club site today, he might have dropped a hint about a big decision he’s got to make.

I wasn’t at the game last night, but in my Dad’s forthright words; ‘that young kid scared the sh*t out of Forest. He’s looked to be dangerous every time he got on the ball.”

My Dad doesn’t offer false praise; he’s a hard man to please and he’s clearly seen something he likes in Jordan. I know he’s one we’re convinced has a bigger future and his loan spell at Grantham proved he can cut it in men’s football. Is Danny now wondering about keeping him around the squad?

“I thought Jord did really well in the first half and also played well in the second half,” Danny said of last night’s 1-1 draw with a strong Forest Under 23 side.

“He has improved dramatically and beyond recognition over the last year. We are extremely proud of him and the process we have put together to create the improvement.”

Now comes the bit that to me suggests there is at least a chance that he could be kept around the first team.

“I could be really selfish because he has some attributes which are really exciting and which will really affect games but we do have a responsibility for him as a person and him as a player, so we will be cautious about that.”

“We know he needs to play and for him to go from Grantham Town last season, which is step three of non-league, to go into step-three of professional football is a massive jump and we have got to make sure we make the right long-term decision.”

Okay, towards the end he veers back towards a loan spell, but the mention of some attributes that are exciting and can affect games is sure to get supporters wondering. Sure, he could go and play in the National League every week, it would be good for his development but sometimes you have to think of the here and now.

If he can affect games at this level, if he does have some skills which would help us win points, he could be here and Danny is a manager who probably knows that as well. He could be playing in the Carabao Cup, playing in the EFL Trophy and being given a chance to prove those skills are ready for League One from the bench, despite his tender years.

Perhaps, just this once, that special pathway the club plot for young talent can be deviated from, especially given the cover we have in the squad.