The Imps have made the sixth permanent signing of a busy summer by completing the permanent signing of former Manchester United prospect Ethan Hamilton.
The 24-year-old central midfielder has signed a three-year deal with the Imps, who are paying an undisclosed fee to Accrington Stanley to complete the transfer. The first rumours of a bid for Hamilton surfaced yesterday, and things developed quickly over the weekend.
Firstly, the reaction. Hamilton, who played 43 times for Stanley last season, mentioned a former teammate who he’d spoken to ahead of the Imps’ move. “I’m over the moon,” he said. “From the first interest, it’s something I’ve been really keen on. From walking around the club, It’s clear to see that everyone here is hungry and wants to work hard, you can see that culture, and I think I’ll fit into that. I’ve spoken with Lukas Jensen, who I played with at Accrington, and he was so complimentary about the club, which was important as well.”
Imps head coach Mark Kennedy was equally as enthusiastic about his new signing. “Ethan is a very good signing for us, who can cover a number of positions within our squad. He fits our recruitment profile and, at 24 years old, has the potential to develop and play higher. He is a technical player, with good athleticism and is someone who will add goals to the team.”
I’m also delighted. I’ve had an eye on Hamilton for a few years now, starting at Rochdale. He had a loan spell there in 2018/19, bagging four goals, and he regularly cropped up as one to watch. The following season he played for two teams, Bolton and Southend, both on loan. Both were relegated, and his experiences at Sincil Bank saw two heavy defeats, 4-0 for Southend and 5-1 for Bolton.
From there, he joined Peterborough and added a promotion to his three League One relegations. He came on with the Imps leading 3-0 in a crucial game late in the season and scored the goal that set them back on their way. However, after a couple of appearances in the Championship, he joined Accrington. Aside from his club career, he has represented Scotland up to Under 17 level, but not since.
What Will He Bring?
Hamilton is a central midfielder, but one who falls into the category of ‘midfielder’ rather than the newer ‘CDM’ or ‘CAM’. He’s box-to-box, energetic and able to play the holding role or push further forward. He’s a big lad, 6ft 2in tall, which really fits with our recruitment this summer. We’ve added some real height throughout the squad, and as you can see from some of the images of him in action for Accrington, he’s going to add to that presence.
He’s left-footed, meaning we now have two left-footed central midfielders in the squad, which is unusual. However, he can play on the left or right of a pairing, he could join Erhahon in a double holding role against bigger teams who want to come at us, but also spring attacks against those we need to press onto. In short, he’s an all-rounder, a like-for-like replacement for Max Sanders, I’d wager, if Smith came in for Virtue.
He will be coming here to play games, as has Smith, and I see those two duelling for a starting spot. It does give us the option for a 3-5-2, with two holding midfielders and Smith pushed further forward. I’m not sure we’re going to go for that option on a weekly basis (not enough strikers), but I feel it’s not a viable option in the later stages of matches, especially if we’re chasing goals and looking to put a defensive team to the sword.
City fans will be able to meet Ethan for the first time at the open training session at the LNER Stadium from 12.30 pm today.