Sky Sports journalist Lyall Thomas claims that Rotherham United have met a £200,000 release clause in the contract of Cohen Bramall, with a medical scheduled for tomorrow.
Thomas has almost 40,000 followers, a blue tick and a decent reputation, and if pushed, I’d say the news was relatively solid. If it is true, then I can’t help but think this is great news for the Imps.
It might not seem it; Bramall is comfortably the quickest player I’ve ever seen in a Lincoln shirt, but he’s entering the last year of his contract, which means he could leave for free next summer. He was also on the fringes of the Imps’ squad for some time, his pace being an asset but other aspects of his game sometimes letting him down. In the run-up to the January window, I even speculated he might leave, believing a League Two move would be more suitable. Remember Cheltenham away? City 2-1 up with seconds left and Cohen headed the ball back across goal for their leveller? I felt at the time it would be one of his final actions as a Lincoln City player.
He did well to turn the season around, and there’s no doubt his pace was a massive asset when we were under pressure, but I genuinely think going into this season he’d be our second choice centre back. Sure, if we’d gone 3-5-2 and played wing-backs, I could see him edging out Jamie Robson, but in a flat-back four, Robson is definitely the better option. Cohen is in an awkward place in that he’s not defensively sound enough to be described as a left-back, but perhaps lacks the end product to be an attacking player. He has pace, and he’s got a great attitude, but genuinely, I’m not sure he’s a player set to have a starring role for us, even before any bids come in.
The accuracy of the reports is yet to be verified, but if someone has genuinely offered us £200,000, then it’s a wonderful bit of business, especially if we’re in the market for players of our own. Yes, we’d need a left-back to come in as cover, but I like Jamie Robson and think he’s the starting number three for us next season. That would mean we’d be bringing in £200,000 for a fringe player, one who may or may not play; that’s excellent business. I hesitate to say ‘that’s the model’, but it really is; we don’t need to turn all players around for £1m or more; sometimes a profit will be sufficient.
What I will say is Cohen is a genuine guy. At a sponsor’s event last season, I was getting a programme signed for a blog reader, and when I passed it to Cohen, he took it around a group of the other players who were talking amongst themselves. He seemed humble, having come from a non-league background, and I certainly didn’t get Billy Big Balls vibes despite his Arsenal spell. I might not feel his departure would have a significant impact on our playing staff, but I’d still be delighted for such a down-to-earth lad to get a move to the Championship.
Doubtless, we’ll keep an eye out tomorrow for further news.