The Transfer Window – What Can We Really Expect From The Loan Deals?

Credit Graham Burrell

Doubtless you have already seen the numerous articles about our upcoming transfer window.

Scaremongering from sites like Team Talk which haven’t got a Lincoln City rumoured right ever. Discussions around whether our loan players will be recalled even though it was mid-November and nothing short of speculation. What we might spend, what we won’t spend and which players might come and go on loan. To a degree, it is exciting and it is an advertiser’s dream as fans love to click on a transfer story, but let us try to separate the myth from the facts shall we?

I wanted to do an article looking at the players we have in on loan, and out on loan, as well as who might join that list. Similarly, tomorrow I hope to look at the out of contract players, and our other stars. Hopefully, I can help shed a bit of light on the transfer window here, starting with the loan stars.

Loan Players

Shall we start with the players we have in on loan? I’m going to look at each in turn and examine whether I suspect a recall, taking into account the bigger picture.

TJ Eyoma

Credit Graham Burrell

TJ is a player few have mentioned as likely to be recalled and I think that is fairly accurate. He’s come from Spurs who are flying high in the Prem, but even if they were 20th I couldn’t see them turning to the youngster in their time of need. I think TJ has had a good start to his senior career with us, he’s got plenty of good attributes and I couldn’t see us opting to end his loan early either. I do think he is one for the rest of the season, unless there is an unlikely occurrence where Spurs want to buy from the Championship and the club they’re buying from wanted TJ on loan. That’s as far fetched as a Coronation Street storyline though.

I also believe that if we were to sign one of the players we have on loan permanently in the summer, it could be TJ. There’s a clearly a correlation between his ethos and Michael’s and in real terms, I don’t think I could see him breaking through at Spurs. That’s no detriment to him, but he’s thriving in senior football and you just never know. He is contracted to Spurs until 2023 though, so maybe it is wishful thinking.

Likelihood Of Return To Parent Club – 10%

Robbie Gotts

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Gotts also signed on a season-long loan deal and like TJ Eyoma Leeds are surely unlikely to call on him to go back. They are not doing quite as well as Spurs though, and Gotts was around the first team last season. this makes it more possible he could go back to Leeds, but again I think it is unlikely. He’s out for senior football and he is getting plenty of it now too. Leeds do have ‘form’ if you like when recalling players, last season Conor Shaughnessy was on loan at Mansfield, but got recalled and loaned to Burton a division higher. There is an increased chance of an Elland Road recall with those aspects in mind, but it is still something I don’t envisage happening for certain.

Likelihood Of Return To Parent Club – 50%

Alex Palmer

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Of all the players we have in on loan, I would be most gutted if Palmer left. Finding a keeper you can trust is massive and I think we have one of the best at this level. Not one of the four we conceded this weekend were his fault and I think he is as good as anyone I’ve seen keep goal for City, which goes back to Lee Butler and Trevor Swinburne in the late eighties. Granted, West Brom are struggling at present, but I can’t see them placing the blame on Sam Johnstone, their regular number one. Experienced stopper David Button is number two there, he’s appeared in EFL Cup games and will surely remain as the number two. They also have Jonathan Bond should either of the other keepers get injured, so I expect Alex to stay put. Also, the Baggies don’t have form when recalling young players – two from last season went back in January, Kane Wilson and Max Melbourne. Max went back so he could sign for us permanently and Wilson’s loan was short term in the first instance.

Likelihood Of Return To Parent Club – 10%

Callum Morton

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The pain of seeing Morton in the picture above, knowing how valuable he would have been to the squad, is strong. With an alternative option to Tom Hopper, rotating the two in a varied strike froce, we might have been doing even better than we are, which is hard to imagine.

With the limited game time Callum has had, and the ongoing injury, I don’t think he will be recalled. Michael thinks we might see him back in February, which would mean him being available for 14 matches, or more depending on when in Feb he returns. That’s a third of the season right there and he will be like a new signing when he does return. I can’t see West Brom recalling him and loaning him out elsewhere, he;s clearly going to get game time when he does return. The only caveat to that might be if we signed another striker in January given the uncertainty around Callum’s return.

Likelihood Of Return To Parent Club – 20%

Brennan Johnson

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I was critical of the Echo coverage of Johnson’s possible departure last month, but as we close in on January I guess the time is right (in my mind at least) to start aksing the question. The obvious reason we are seeing this speculation is Forest’s predicament at the foot of League One, and of course Tyler Walker’s recall last season. Plus, Johnson isn’t doing bad for us at all and Forest fans seem to think they need a spark to liven up their attack – why not young Brennan?

Why not indeed. Look, if he is recalled, he is Forest’s player and I would hope Michael is in a better position to replace him than we were with Tyler last season. Last season, Forest loaned out seven players in the early part of the season, and four of those had returned by January. Two we know to be Tyler and Liam Bridcutt, who was at Bolton and came to join us. They also recalled Virgil Gomis from Macclesfield Town, whilst Toby Edser’s deal with Woking was only for a month. Two players, Jayden Richardson and Jake Taylor, remained with their loan clubs.

Much depends on whether Forest have money to spend on players in January. If they do, Chris Hughton may choose to leave Brennan where he is, gaining experience with us. If money is tight, then a recall could well be on the cards.

Likelihood Of Return To Parent Club – 50%

Jamie Soule

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Soule was only ever signed on a short term deal, as a replacement for Callum Morton during his period out injured. The details of exactly when that might conclude were sketchy, but they are usually three-month deals, or until January. Either way, Soule is back at West Brom now and highly unlikely to feature for the Imps again. He arrived in October, scored on his debut and only appeared once more.

Likelihood Of Return To Parent Club – 99%

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