It’s transfer deadline day, and not for the first time, Lincoln City fans are loaded with expectations.
Michael has said that being patient and waiting brings the best players, and we will now see if that pays off. There’s no doubt the boss is right, but we have seen the issue with waiting in the past – Hawkins and Akinola spring to mind, we ended up with neither player joining City. Have we got deals already in the bag, and can we pull them off with a game being played on the same evening? Will there be shades of Solihull Moors away, with action going on down the touchline in the dying moments? What do we expect today?
I think it’s looking more likely that Tayo Edun has played his last game for City. The left-back role is one we’ve been blessed in of late: Sam Habergham was a solid signing back in the day, Harry Toffolo was utterly superb, and now Tayo. I can see his move to Ewood Park being rubber-stamped by lunch, which, as we know, means there will be one in.
Jamie Robson Arrives
It’s looking very likely that Jamie Robson will be coming to Sincil Bank. There will almost certainly be a left-back joining us; Tayo wouldn’t be allowed to move if we had not got a replacement lined up. I know we have Max Melbourne and Cohen Bramall, but Michael will not risk going into the first half of the season weaker than we came out of last season, not in terms of permanent players. In some instances, such as loan players, it can’t be helped, but having spoken to Michael a few weeks ago on this subject, I believe strongly he’ll replace rather than make do.
Given the fact we went with no striker in our last match, I think there’s an obvious need for a forward player, and I do wonder if the Edun fee might be split between a left-back and a forward. Sadly, even £250,000 isn’t a lot to buy a striker these days unless you dip into the Premier League youngster market. I wonder if we might settle for a loan player here and look to move for someone permanent in the winter window when player’s contracts enter their final six months. We’ve heard the names linked, I’m sure, the likes of Ellis Simms, who would be a big addition, but it would also be a massive, massive coup as he’s got Championship admirers. I guess how successful we are is how the balance between expectation and reality is found. A couple of years ago some expected Danny Hylton, and we got Lee Angol. One summer, many expected Tyler Walker, and we got John Akinde – that didn’t seem bad at the time. Which will this summer be? Thus far, we’ve looked a little shy in front of goal, so a player with presence and energy is what fans wish to see. I’m not talking a Callum Morton here either – one with experience at this level would be great.
Michael said after the Oxford game ‘two or three in, one out maybe’, and I think that refers to outfield players. I think we need another wide player, a Brennan Johnson type, full of energy and direct running who can change our approach. When Maguire is fit we’ve got decent wide players, but again in these early exchanges we’ve lacked the progressive winger who carries the ball fifty yards or who draws fouls. Ted Bishop has that through the middle, so maybe not a player who also plays ten like Johnson. There’s a few clubs and players I’ve had passed to me by those ‘ITK’, some reliable sources, others not so much. Those I tend to believe have linked us with with a couple of clubs, namely Aston Villa and Manchester United, but names have always been a little more sketchy. I do think there will be at least one loan from the top flight coming in today, and let’s face it, Michael has a good record with his loan captures. He waited for Johnson last season and that certainly worked out well.
Lastly, there might be a keeper heading in. I don’t think we need someone to challenge Josh Griffiths; the vitriol he’s had on some social media outlets is unfair. He hasn’t arrived as confident as Alex Palmer, but he is a player with huge potential. However, if he were called up by England during a weekend no other players travelled to play for their country, we’d be in trouble. I think I heard Michael say any keeper deal might be done late on, so we could be waiting for a Matt Gilks type of deal as we head into, and maybe even beyond, 11 pm.