Cohen Bramall has today completed his move to Championship side Rotherham United, after they met the club’s release clause.
Bramall joined the Imps from Colchester United in the winter window of 2020/21, having previously been with Arsenal. He’d had a trial with the club under Danny Cowley, and had impressed sufficiently to ensure we kept tabs on him during his spell in League Two.
He started 39 games for the Imps, 34 of those in League One over a season-and-a-half. He scored two goals, one which turned out to be the winner as we beat Morecambe in a relegation six-pointer, and another as we limped to a 3-1 defeat at Bolton a couple of weeks later. There’s no doubt at all, his best spell in a Lincoln shirt came post-Christmas, given that our left-back role has always been hotly contested.
When he joined, we had Tayo Edun, which meant Cohen was used sparingly. When Tayo moved on, Jamie Robson came in and he too seemed to be first choice, although Cohen made the position his own. His game is characterized by his unusually quick turn of pace; he’s so quick it’s unreal. However, some have criticised his end product, and perhaps for a player with his pace, three assists were only an acceptable, not outstanding return during his 46 League One outings.
This deal makes perfect sense for Lincoln. Cohen was entering the last year of his contract, which meant he could leave for free next summer. In the run-up to the January window, I even speculated he might leave, believing a League Two move would be more suitable. He did well after Christmas, but the Millers’ interest is surprising. That said, I think he’ll thrive in a side that plays three centre-backs, as he’ll be offered some protection. I always felt he looked best for the Imps when he had Joe Walsh as his left centre back, rather than a makeshift right-footed player there. He also performed better when Liam Bridcutt played, and maybe that suggests Cohen was unlucky; would we have seen more of him if the two players that suited his style, Walsh and Bridcutt, weren’t always injured?
I’d also be careful when speculating on the fee. It’s been classed as undisclosed, with some suggesting £200,000. That’s not official, and I’m not thinking we’ll be getting rich from this deal. I’d wager Colchester have a future interest as well, so we may be coming out with six figures, but we may not. However, with Jorge Grant’s move to Hearts and now this, we’ll hopefully be able to accelerate one of our other irons in the fire.
One thing I’ll add is this; Cohen Bramall was a really nice lad. He was quiet and unassuming at events, he had the air of a humble man who’d been taken from non-league football to the Premier League but never forgotten who he was or where he came from. It’s the sort of move that fills me with a warm glow, a bit like when Paul Farman got his Football League move; these are players I felt got what it meant to be a footballer, and who understood their responsibility. I hope he smashes it at Rotherham, I really do.
Also, he becomes the third Lincoln City left-back in succession to get a Championship move, following on from Harry Toffolo and Tayo Edun. All we need now is Jamie Robson to kick on and get a £3m move in the winter, and we’ll be set!