Now that the window has closed and our squad looks set until at least January, I thought I’d take a look at it and share my opinions, wirtes Andy Chapman.
Before I start I want to clarify that I’m not saying this is our strongest starting 11 or even our best formation but I have used it to illustrate squad depth.
Josh Griffiths and Sam Long
The only question mark for me was would we send Long out on loan to play some games but we haven’t. I could see this turning out to be an interesting battle over the season with both playing. Griffiths hasn’t had the strongest start but the simple fact is you don’t get called up to England youth teams without being a decent keeper. He will come good.
Cohen Bramall, Sean Roughan, Joe Walsh, Jamie Robson, Lewis Montsma, Adam Jackson, Regan Poole, TJ Eyoma.
My quick maths tells me that eight defenders across four positions gives two for each. While on paper that sound excellent, in reality I do think we could end up with some issues. TJ is our right back cover but could be our starting CB. Robson may well start at LB whilst also being our CB cover. Looking at those names on paper, shows that there is a very strong back four in there somewhere, the organisation of that back four is up for some debate but time is needed for fitness to return. Personally I would have Robson, Walsh, Eyoma and Poole.
Liam Bridcutt, Max Sanders, Lewis Fiorini, Lasse Sorensen, Ted Bishop, Conor McGrandles, Billy Brooks.
Outside of Liam Bridcutt, I think you could argue for any of the other players to be starting. Bishop seems to be making a big claim for one spot and McGrandles was immense last season so it would seem harsh to leave him out. Again we have competition here and Brooks provides a nice youth option for the bench if needed. Injuries and fitness will be key here though as one injury leaves a spot short of cover. Sorensens ability to play in multiple positions may prove to be very helpful across the long season.
Anthony Scully, Chris Maguire, Tom Hopper, Dan Nlundulu, Hakeb Adelakun, Remy Longdon, Freddie Draper
Obviously this is the area Michael wanted to strengthen and was so agonisingly close to strengthening with Morgan Whittaker reportedly ready to sign and the deal falling through at the last moment. If we don’t sign an attacker in January I will eat my Lincoln shirt, but for now we have to go with what we have.
Scully is a man on fire at the moment and if I was a gambling man, I’d have money on him to get 30+ in all competitions. Hopper will score goals and Adelakun should cause opposing full backs trouble. Outside that we have Maguire to fit in somewhere when fit and Remy who can cover across the wings. My biggest concern is how Nlundulu can cover the goal scoring, he seems a good prospect but this season will be his first full season, if he can finish the season with 10 – 15 goals then I think he will have done very well. I may be wrong, but I think Whittaker not signing will lead to Freddie Draper making a few more appearances in the first team so that could be a silver lining to that particular cloud.
The window is closed so this is what Lincoln City and Michael Appleton are working with until January. On paper we have enough in that squad to put out a competitive starting 11. The key is fitness, how fit can we get everyone and how long can they stay fit. Unfortunately nobody knows the answer to that and I worry that it will be the nagging doubt in every City fans mind until at least January. If on December 31st we are in a mid table position, within touching distance of the top 10, I’ll be very happy.