Keeper Exit Seems To Be Looming – It’s What We Should Welcome As Fans

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Lukas Jensen seems to be closing in on a move to Championship side Millwall.

League One’s best keeper last season was always likely to be in demand, and news broke yesterday that he was coveted by Millwall. Today, one of the red tops is reporting he has flown back from Spain to talk to the South London club, which would suggest to me this is more than someone online just saying ‘talks are advanced’.

Let’s be honest, we almost expected it, as we did with Lasse and Ethan Erhahon. These are good players, but in the case of the two Danes, we have to decide whether to stick or twist. If we stick, we lose them for nothing. If we twist, we have to replace. We’ve sold Lasse and replaced him: if we sell Lukas, we’ll do the same.

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This is one issue with having our own keeper. At least other summers, June 1st has come, and we know we’re in the market for a stopper. That date arrived this year and we still didn’t know. The flip side to that is when we lost Palmer and Rushworth, we got nothing for them. We know for Lukas, we’re going to be banking a decent sum of money. There’s no clear indication of what that might be, but I’d wager it’s not far off what we got for Lasse.

Obviously, if a deal goes ahead, it’s a blow, but not a mortal one. We’ve had decent keepers ever since we got back into the league – from ones we’ve owned, such as Josh Vickers, to ones we’ve borrowed, and I’m not just thinking Palmer and Rushworth, but also Ryan Allsop and Matt Gilkes. If Lukas goes, it will weaken us temporarily, but it will put money into the kitty to perhaps get another player over the line.

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That’s the reality of being a fan of a League One club. Everyone has a price, and if their deal has 12 months or less to run, then it makes sense to sell.

I would say this reflects brilliantly on us as a club. Lukas and Lasse’s moving one proves to prospective players that we can be used as a stepping stone, and while as fans that might feel like a negative, it isn’t. Ethan Erhahon is only with us because he knew we have a track record of developing talent, and if he came here, he would be allowed to move up the ladder should the chance arise. Dare I say, Lasse and Lukas felt the same. Maybe there’s a keeper out there right now, at a Premier League club perhaps, fearful of dropping into League One, who will see Lincoln as the perfect balance between dropping to the level and being given the chance to progress.

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Some fans (I know there will be a couple) may see this as us lacking ambition, but it is the exact opposite in my eyes. You lack long-term ambition if you’re willing to keep players and not use their value to move forward. Teams who have done stuff like that in the past include Forest Green and Fleetwood, and where are they now? Teams who have been ‘selling’ clubs include Oxford and Peterborough. Oxford sold Baptiste and Fosu a few seasons ago and their fans couldn’t believe it – worked out okay, didn’t it? As for Posh, they constantly sell their best players, but when was the last time you saw them in League Two, or even outside the top ten in League One? Rarely.

To be a fan these days you have to have a pragmatic approach to players moving on, and while Lukas looks likely to go, someone else will come in. Every time we’ve sold a player we loved, he’s been replaced. Toff went, Tayo came in and was ace. That’s football.

If it’s for the betterment of the club, on and off the field, then we have to embrace it. It’s the nature of the game.