Defensive Reinforcements Arrive From Arsenal

Credit LCFC / Chris Vaughan

The Imps have added the second new face of the day to the squad, with the arrival of Arsenal defender Brooke Norton-Cuffy on a loan deal.

The 18-year-old right-back has been a regular in the Gunners’ U23 squad this season and has represented the Three Lions up to under 18 level. He’s going straight into the squad for this evening’s game, and given Ted Bishops niggling injury, we could even see him start for the Imps.

Brooke said: “It’s a very proud moment for me, to come from playing U23s to a great League One club like this is a big step for me. Lincoln are well known for their development of players, especially loan players, and there’s a pathway for me here – getting men’s football will help my development. I’ve been playing U23s since my first scholar season and this year I’ve started every game I’ve been fit, so this is a key step for me.”

There are huge shades of TJ Eyoma in this deal. TJ also came from North London with minimal experience in senior football, and he did very well in his first season. Can Norton-Cuffy do the same? He might have to, given our injuries.

Credit LCFC / Chris Vaughan

Imps manager Michael Appleton added: “Brooke is a fantastic young player with excellent technical and athletic qualities who is highly thought of by his parent club. A big thank you to Arsenal, who have been brilliant in allowing Brooke to come to us on loan and in helping us get Brooke registered in time for tonight’s game. He’ll go straight into our squad against Rotherham and will have a role to play immediately as we cope with the injuries to Adam Jackson, Joe Walsh and Lewis Montsma.”

The decision to bring in Norton-Cuffy suggests that there has been a silver lining to the thick injury cloud hanging over the club; Regan Poole at centre half. Poole has been excellent over the last three matches, averaging 8.37 from your ratings, and perhaps is now seen as a central defender first and foremost. Also, with TJ clearly able to play there, and both Walsh and Jackson getting closer, it could be that we didn’t want to risk a relationship with a bigger club by drafting in a centre half who is surplus to requirements within a month.

He is the second player to arrive at the club today, although you know that I’m sure. He’ll join John Marquis in the squad for the trip to Rotherham, where the Imps will hope to repeat the win from the first away day of the 2019/20 season.