Imps To Secure Barnsley Linked Defender?

Credit Graham Burrell

Lincoln City have been linked with the signing of Jesse Debrah following his departure from Halifax Town, in an update shared by Reach PLC journalist Darren Witcoop on Twitter. 

For those of you who follow EFL news, it would be reasonable to assume that Jesse Debrah would likely link up with League One play-off finalists Barnsley after they continued their long-held interest in the player into the summer transfer window. However, today three stories broke regarding the player, providing somewhat conflicting information.

The first of which was from journalist Doug O’Kane from the Barnsley Chronicle, who revealed that a move for Debrah to the Tykes had broken down at the final stages. This further corroborates earlier suggestions on social media that the club had opted to not offer the player a contract. Whatever the reason for the negotiations halting, it has provided the opportunity for other clubs to swoop in.

The second story to break was from Pete O’Rouke of Football Insider, a reasonably reliable and consistent source of EFL news. The story appeared to come out of left field, suggesting that League Two Walsall were in talks to land the free agent.

A third story broke from Darren Witcoop, another fairly reliable EFL journalist, who claimed that Lincoln City were confident of pipping Barnsley and Carlisle United to the signing of Debrah.

Where the truth lies, is up for interpretation. Journalists get information from various sources, it could be the player, an agent or even a club directly and without going into a Sherlock Holmes style investigation we can only assess the information given to us.

Could Lincoln be interested?


Jesse is a highly sought-after defender that is ready to take the step up from the National League and progress his career. It very much fits with our recruitment strategy of targeting talented players and giving them an opportunity. Ben House joining from Eastleigh could be a perfect example of when this strategy works. He’s also on a free transfer, meaning the club won’t have to pay fees and could free up the budget to upgrade on a target in another position. The move to Barnsley looked inevitable, however, when that collapsed the chance to poach a player who was destined for a promotion favourite could be too hard to turn down. Lincoln can act quickly in the market when needed and this could be an opportunist signing.

Is he the right type of player?

First and foremost, he’s a central defender, something the club are arguably lacking. Mark Kennedy favours a three-man defence and with the departures of Regan Poole, Joe Walsh and the long-term injury to Lewis Montsma, it leaves just Sean Roughan, Adam Jackson, Paudie O’Connor and TJ Eyoma as senior recognised centre-backs. Meaning one we are just two injuries away from crisis. Michael Hortin had already hinted on Twitter that the club will look to bring a defender in this window. He often wore the captain’s armband and at the young age of 22, shows he has leadership qualities that were perhaps lacking in the Imps lineup only a couple of seasons ago.

Could Lincoln win this race?

It’s well known that Lincoln don’t pay sign-on fees, and they also don’t overpay on contracts, so when a player joins amidst competition from other clubs it’s because they believe in the project and the opportunities a move could provide. Mark Kennedy and the coaching department have already shown that they can coach and help a player improve their game. The huge improvement of Lasse Sorenson is an example of this. Lincoln are an exciting and progressive club that believes in the youth. It could be teams offer more, but I’m confident that what is on offer can’t be rivalled by many in the League.


The vastly contrasting sides of the fan base will either see this as a coup capturing a player that Barnsley were hoping to sign or question how we are competing with League Two Walsall and recently promoted Carlisle United for a signing that is supposedly so in demand. Personally, I do think Lincoln have at least made contact with the player’s representatives, it seems like he ticks all the boxes. But I do also believe there are some agent shenanigans at play, within hours of a story breaking that Barnsley were out of the running stories start appearing linking him to three other clubs (Lincoln, Carlisle & Walsall). It could be that we are a name thrown in, but I suspect there is possibly an element of truth.

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