Striker Central: City Add Another as Forward Options Grow

Credit LCFC / Chris Vaughan

Ok, so I missed it last night as I was out and about, but the Imps have added another striker to the squad ahead of the visit of Burton this weekend.

Ben House, described by Eastleigh fans as ‘an outstanding pressing forward‘ has been on the Imps radar for some time, as both he and Michael confirmed in the official press release.

Credit LCFC / Chris Vaughan

“It’s been a long time coming, but I’m very happy to be here and I can’t wait to get going with the rest of the season,” he said. “I know the opportunity to develop here is top class, the club put their trust in young players and it’s a great opportunity for me to come here and progress with my career. I want to play as many games, score as many goals, and get as many wins as I can to help the team as much as possible and to impress the fans. I came to a game recently and the atmosphere was incredible and I’m really looking forward to getting out there.”

Michael Appleton added: “Ben is a player we have been monitoring for some time and so I am delighted we’ve managed to sort a long-term deal to bring him to the club. We’ve clearly strengthened a lot in the forward areas already this window, but what I like about Ben is he’s young, he still has a lot to learn, and he will be our player beyond this season. Ben is not yet the finished article, but he has excellent attributes which we can develop, and he can play in more than one position so will add great depth and more options to the squad for the rest of this season.”

The Guildford-born striker came through the ranks at Reading, a club with a strong youth system (remember Sean Long and Rob Dickie), after starting out with Aldershot Town. He signed his first professional deal with the Royals in 2017, and enjoyed loan spells with Dagenham (twice) and Swindon Town, without scoring. However, his potential had certainly been noted; he appeared for Scotland at Under 20 and Under 21 level, before being released by Reading.

He found his way to Eastleigh, scoring on his debut in a 5-1 win against Barnet. He was an instant hit with the Spitfires, and was awarded the National League Player of the Month award for October after four further goals. Last winter, he was linked with Portsmouth, Charlton, Ipswich but a move never materialised. After a solid first season, he earned a one-year contract extension, which ensured he remained at the club this season. In the summer, manager Ben Strevens said he expected bids for the forward, but he did not move on from the south coast. Instead, he’s had a stop/start camping, looking dangerous when he plays, but having a short spell out with injury which has disrupted his 2021/22 season. Three of his four goals came in a ten-day spell in September, but he’s only played a handful games since the middle of November after suffering an injury.