23-y/o could leave the Imps for top flight club

Credit Graham Burrell

Lincoln City’s Zack Elbouzedi could be on his way this summer, with a surprising destination being touted.

Swedish fan account 100% AIK reports that the Allsvenskan side could turn to Elbouzedi as they look to challenge for a European spot next season. They finished ninth in the Swedish top flight in 2021, but won the title as recently as 2018 and have 12 championship titles to their name, making them the third most successful club in Sweden. Last season was the first in seven that they did not qualify for a place in Europe.

The move would certainly seem to suit Zack, who has been told he can leave the club as part of the summer shakeup. He was the first signing of the Michael Appleton era, but has never got a decent run of matches to show what he can do. His loan move to Bolton, designed to get him first team experience, didn’t work out and as Michael takes us to the next level, he clearly doesn’t feel Zack has a major part to play.

Credit Graham Burrell

This season, he made just two outings before December, despite impressing against Salford in pre-season. He started the 1-1 draw with Scunthorpe in the EFL Trophy, and came on as we beat Forest Green 6-2. He kicked into life in the EFL Trophy Second Round tie with Shrewsbury, scoring one and setting up two as we routed Salop 4-1. That earned him the ‘Player of the Round’ accolade’, but just 15 minutes of league football followed, against Northampton (1 minute) and Burton Albion (14 minutes). Despite that, he was back in the side for the visit of Accrington Stanley in the next round of the EFL Trophy, where he again scored and laid one on in another outstanding performance. He won the Player of the Round once again, before joining Bolton Wanderers on loan until the end of the season.

Zack was also a regular for Ireland’s Under 21 side, something which caused him to miss the EFL Trophy match with Manchester City Under 21s as he started their games against Iceland and Luxembourg alongside fellow Imp Anthony Scully.

If he does get a move to AIK, he will link up with a couple of Sweden’s Euro 2020 squad, namely Mikael Lustig (formerly of Celtic) and Seb Larsson, who played for Birmingham, Sunderland and Hull City in a long career in England. One interesting element to the story is that Sean O’Shea is an AIK coach, a fellow Ireland native who may help the winger settle.

It will be a shame to see Zack leave, he’s a lovely lad, very down to earth who some fans might feel hasn’t really had a chance to show his skills. However, it may be that a division with a different intensity will suit him and who knows, he could end up like Robert Taylor, who left the Imps for Scandinavia and ended up on the field for Finland this summer.