Tom Hopper made a move to the Imps in January for a fee believed by some to be in the region of £150,000. That would put him up there with our most expensive signing, assumed to be John Akinde.
In these days of undisclosed fees, it is far from certain what a player has cost or is worth, but it also helps reduce the stress placed upon them by being labelled a ‘club-record’. Whether Tom is, or isn’t, is sure to be debated but one thing is clear; he is one of our senior professionals.
At the age of 26, Tom told me he does find it strange being mentioned as a senior pro, but that it is a status he’s ready to live up to.
“It does seem strange to hear myself referred to as a senior professional,” he said when we spoke on Thursday in readiness for the club programme on Tuesday.
“League One is a difficult league, it’s full of players of varying ages and experience. I’ve been around it for a while now and have got to know what is required, but it’s something perhaps some of the younger players won’t have experienced.”
Coming from that level of football with Leicester to make over 165 Football League appearances, Tom believes he can offer some guidance to the current crop of young guns filling up the Imps’ dressing room.
“I can probably pass on guidance on the league, how it can be day to day and how to deal with some of the situations you come up against that perhaps you don’t in Under 23 football.
“Some of the younger lads might not have experienced that, but you get a bit of nous and know-how when you’ve been around the league so hopefully that will be useful.”
One of the young players Tom is hoping to get a good relationship struck up with is Tyreece John-Jules. Fans of the Imps are hoping to see them click and deliver goals in the first half of 2020, but Hopper does have another motive for getting to know the striker personally.
“I’m an Arsenal fan, my Dad was too, so I’ve always followed them through my life. I’m a fan of the game and follow it all, but we’ve always been Arsenal.
“I’ll have to get into Tyreece for the lowdown on everything that is happening at Arsenal, get some insights! Seriously though, it’s nice to be playing alongside him though and I’m looking forward to the next few months building up our relationship.”
With just two games as a partnership under their belt, fans will be hoping the next four days see them kick on and maybe bring a goal or two for us to enjoy.
You can read the rest of Tom’s interview, where he talks about previously almost signing for the Imps and his experiences with Boston, in the matchday programme on Tuesday evening.