City Forward Departs on Season-Long Loan

Credit Graham Burrell

City striker Charlie Kendall has temporarily left the club for League Two side Sutton United.

The youngster, who joined in January from Eastbourne Borough, has made two starts and three further appearances off the bench this season, scoring his first senior goal for the Imps at Doncaster in the Carabao Cup first round. However, there’s a need for regular football, and Sutton United, currently 13th in League Two, should offer that.

Imps head coach Mark Kennedy said: “We believe Charley has a bright future ahead of him, but he needs to be playing regularly in order to continue his development and this loan provides an opportunity to do that. Sutton are a good fit for Charley and we will monitor his progress in League Two.”

I know the immediate reaction is going to be mainly negative to this announcement, with Kendall scoring so many last season for his former club, but there’s a real sense in the decision. He won’t start 15 games for us in League One, not given how we play, and that could stunt his development. Whilst he has had a solid start to his City career, I’ve felt he looked a bit swamped in both the games he appeared in for us in League One. That’s not to say he’s not good enough, but a season in League Two will help develop him in a way that 15 minutes here and there off the bench cannot.

Credit Graham Burrell

I do think it means we’re going to sign another centre forward; surely, it means we’re looking for one in the window now, and I know an outgoing wasn’t what people expected this week. The one issue we do not want to see is us going into the autumn without backup strikers, which is exactly what happened last season. For me, Kendall leaving on loan surely (surely) suggests that we’re closing in on a centre forward on loan.

We will wait to see if that is the case, but in the meantime, I wish Charley well at Sutton and hope he goes there and develops sufficiently to be a first-team player for Lincoln City in 12 months’ time.