Imps ‘Agree’ Deal With Championship Striker

Credit Graham Burrell

It’s being reported by Football Insider that the Imps have agreed on a deal to loan striker Liam Cullen from Swansea City for the remainder of the season.

The Imps have reportedly been interested in him for a couple of months, but in recent weeks the race has seemingly heated up; Danny Cowley has also kept a keen eye on him down in Portsmouth. However, Football Insider and more importantly, Pete O’Rourke are now reporting we have got in ahead of our rivals and signed him on loan until the end of the season. Cullen is a hot prospect at Swansea with plenty of game time behind him.

He’s just 22, he’s been with Swansea since the age of eight and he’s also a Welsh Under 21 international. I said at the end of last year I thought he’d be the sort of striker we’d try to sign if Dan N’Lundulu went back to Southampton, and he has, so this really isn’t a big surprise.

Down to the basics; the striker is left-footed and usually plays as an out-and-out nine, although he can sit a little deeper if required. He’s had more game time than Morgan Whittaker for the Swans this season, and whilst his teammate was making waves here on Saturday, Cullen was starting for the Swans against Southampton in the FA Cup. In total, he played 666 minutes for Swansea this season, and has a single assist and no goals to show for his efforts. He’s been appearing on and off for Swansea in the Championship since February 2020 and has two goals and an assist to his name.

I don’t like to grab quotes from other managers about players, but as we know Michael is very careful when talking about other team’s players. However, our former manager, Danny Cowley, has talked about Cullen and his assessment should give Imps fans something to smile about if indeed we do sign the player. “He’s a player I know with good movement, energy and technical ability,” he told The News. “He hasn’t scored as many goals as he should for his quality. But he will score goals, he will definitely score goals. If you look at his expected goals there’s goals in that boy. No doubt. There’s a lot to like about him. He’s an intelligent player, a really good presser and he’s a lot of characteristics we like in players.”

In truth, Michael has a similar outlook when signing players; he likes a centre forward to work hard, as we’ve seen with Tom Hopper, so Danny’s assessment certainly has some relevance to our situation. Another relevant comment comes from Russell Martin, the Swansea manager, who admitted earlier this month he hadn’t made Cullen available for loan, but that a move might be possible.

“There might come a point where he needs to play football,” he told Wales Online. “At this minute in time, he’s here, he gets on the pitch. We love him and the way he trains every day, his dedication is amazing. We’ll just have to see on that one. No one has rung me about Liam. We haven’t made him available for a loan.” It seems someone has now picked up the phone. Usually, when these sources drop the news, it’s announced within 48 hours, so here’s hoping to have a new striker in the squad for the weekend’s fixture with Cambridge United.