The calibre of clubs the Imps are dealing with is certainly on the up; if reports are correct we’re closing in on a deal to bring Tyreece John-Jules from Arsenal to the club on loan.
It’s rather ironic as I mentioned in the podcast to be released later today about the time we almost signed an Arsenal player on loan, so this links in nicely. I’m actually quite thankful for an insider (my ‘boss’ of sorts) for alerting me to the news as I’d have completely missed this and started writing about poker this morning. He wanted a mention so, never one to disappoint, here it is.
John-Jules is (and this will delight everyone) a striker, he’s 18-years-old and has already played regularly for their Under 21s in the EFL Trophy. He bagged this season as they drew 1-1 with Cambridge and hit two in four last season, against Cheltenham and Forest Green.
Arsenal’s official site confirms that he joined their academy when he was eight and signed his first professional contract in early 2018, adding another year to that in the summer.
Last season he made 17 appearances for our under-23s side as they fought in the Premier League B,, scoring six times and adding two assists. He regularly trained with the first team under Unai Emery and he bagged for the first team in a friendly against Al-Nasr in Dubai earlier this year.
He’s an England Under-18 international, and although he plays down the middle he can also operate as a ‘shadow striker’ as they put it, hopefully meaning the 10, or on the left wing. He can use both feet and in an interview with Football London he cites Thierry Henry as his idol. Mind you, when most people mention an idol it’s usuallly a figure from a sticker album, not one they actually trained with.
“Growing up, I idolised him because I used to follow him and Arsenal,” he said. “He only took us for two sessions because I was at Hale End at the time, and then he came up here and started coaching the under-18s.
“He taught me about movement and timing, and obviously gave me tips on finishing when we did striker drills.”
On being two-footed, he told the same interview how it was one of his key strengths; “I score goals with both feet as I’m comfortable shooting with left or right,” he said. “That’s an advantage as defenders don’t know which way to show me.
“Being two-footed is important. From a very young age I worked hard – and still do – on developing my left foot as I’m naturally right-footed.”
Also, and this will only appeal to a few of you, his Uncle Danny played the Cat in Red Dwarf. It might not mean a jot in terms of football, but I loved that smegging programme back in the day.
With this coming from the Independent it does seem to be a solid rumour and, with MA saying he expects to have two in the door by the end of the day, you do have to wonder if we’re about to land a Premier League double. The Conor Coventry chatter is heating up with one fan claiming to have seen someone matching his description at the ground with Liam and MA, and a really respected member of the West Ham scouting staff who knows our family personally also suggesting we’d landed a diamond in a phone call last night.
Is this the day we finally see MA show his transfer hand? Only time will tell.