If you feel it’s been a hard week, watching former heroes move elsewhere and seeing possible first team players leave for free, then this will be the tonic just for you.
Lincoln City have today secured the signing of Liam Bridcutt on a permanent deal.
Yup, you read that right. The player we signed on loan last season, who made a real difference to our midfield and helped drive us towards safety with his dynamic displays, is with us on a permanent deal. It’s one I never thought could be possible, but it is. it has happened, he’s signed a permanent contract following his release from Forest and in one fell swoop, we have the older head we need in the centre of the park.
I know it won’t alleviate all of your fears, but it should go some way to instaling a little more trust in the recruitment team and the transfer policy. Yes, we’re signing young players but we have now also brought in the right quality.
When Bridcutt first joined on loan, I was incredibly excited. He was well regarded across a range of football writers and the only issue was the injury he suffered at Bolton. Would he be an asset to us? I think in his five games, he proved he was. I’m sure we could all see what Liam brings to the squad. He was handed the captaincy quickly, which was a blow to some players, but also a testament to his experience and influence. You don’t commandeer transfer fees of several million pounds without being a bit handy and it’s obvious this lad could play higher than League One. It’s my understanding he had the chance too, for more money, but he clicks with MA and that is one of the main drivers for him coming here on less wedge. He’s made a footballing decision and that is important to me as a fan in the current climate.
He spoke of his delight in re-joining the club, “For me, it was an easy decision. I have been here previously and know the club well. I also have a great relationship with the manager and the players. Financially, there were far bigger offers elsewhere, but for me it was the drive of the club and their ambition going forward which persuaded me to join. I was given a massive opportunity to be a big part of that and I am relishing the challenge.”
“One of the main reasons I signed was because of the manager, the responsibilities he’s given me and the role going forward. It’s very rare to find such a good relationship between player and manager, and player and club. I could have signed elsewhere for financial reasons and not be happy. For me it is about being happy, if I am, I’ll get the best out of myself.”
Michael Appleton expressed his delight at the signing, adding: “This is a fantastic signing for everyone concerned with Lincoln City FC. Not only is he a very good footballer and leader on the pitch, he is an outstanding character off it. I’m thrilled to get the deal over the line and look forward to welcoming him back to the group.”
It’s a big bit of news for us to sign a player once billed as good enough for Real Madrid, a player who has commanded in excess of £1m on three occasions in his career. Bridcutt started out at Chelsea as a youth and played for Yeovil, Stockport and Watford on loan before a permanent move to Brighton and Hove Albion. He helped the Seagulls to promotion from League One and later played top-flight football for Sunderland after a £3m move. After a couple of seasons at the Stadium of Light, he moved to Leeds for an undisclosed fee, thought to be in excess of £1m, then later to Forest again for £1m.
He’s 31-years-old now, thus proving that MA knows we need experience and a calming influence to bring the younger players on. He could be a big player for us next season, this is the marquee signing of the window so far (no disrespect to the other lads). He already knows the club and fans too, which will help him quickly become a respected senior figure around the dressing room.
This is a good move by the club. I know we can’t offer judgement on new arrivals, I’ve mentioned that before, but we can offer opinion and in my opinion, respected or not, Liam Bridcutt is a huge signing for Lincoln City.