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“It’s been an odd window across all leagues.” (opinion)

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In a transfer window which saw the arrival of Jack Moylan from Shelbourne, Joe Taylor on loan from Premier League side Luton Town, Conor McGrandles on loan from Charlton Athletic and Zak Bradshaw from Championship side Ipswich Town, we take a look at the views from one of our members, sedgleyimp.

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The January transfer window has come and gone and teams are now largely set for the remainder of the season. It’s been an odd window across all leagues as the effects and concerns over the financial rules have resulted in an almost non-event. The majority of moves have been loan deals and you do get the feeling that is exactly what the January window will now be for all teams in the years ahead.

Of course, the tester for Lincoln City is, are we a stronger squad on the 1st of February than we were on the 1st of January. There have been more outs than ins, but you have to say yes we are. We have essentially brought in four ‘new’ players though this includes Freddie Draper following his loan recall from Walsall. It also includes Jack Moylan who we have known was coming since the end of the last window. So in reality incomings have been two loan deals for Conor McGrandles and Joe Taylor. McGrandles ticks that experience in the middle of the park box Skubala was looking for. He is a very similar player to the two Ethan’s in the centre of the park so there’s no change to the tactics dynamic with his signature. It’s a sensible signing to cover for injuries or the inevitable suspension Hamilton will get before the end of March. Joe Taylor has shown especially in the Derby game what he can offer and as we approach games against teams you can describe as being lesser opponents, his pace and dribbling skills will cause their defenders problems.

Taking aside the youngsters sent on loan for experience, those squad players who have moved on are Alistair Smith, Hakeeb Adelakun, Jaden Brown, Charlie Kendall, Jack Vale and Mido Shodipu. The first three have gone on loan and it is really only Smith out of those whose move is motivated by developing him for next season. There is a good player there, but one who has struggled a little with the difference in League 1 football than that in League 2. He’s gone to an exceptional tutor for the remainder of the season and will be a better player for us come August as a result. He needs that game time. Adelakun and Brown have probably played their last games in a City shirt and both have the chance to earn deals elsewhere whilst we cut down on their wages.

So essentially we have swapped Smith for McGrandles, Vale for Taylor, Shodipu for Moylan and Adelakun for Draper. Neither Brown nor Kendall have featured so again the squad numbers have been streamlined. Anyone looking at those comparisons think we aren’t in a stronger place now than we were a month ago? We’ve also got Ben House back and that feels like a new signing as well.

Will these new players move us anywhere near the play-offs. I have to say probably not. If the top six in our division come May isn’t Portsmouth, Peterborough, Derby, Bolton, Barnsley and Blackpool I’ll be surprised those teams have strengthened their own squads to make that push for promotion and we’ve left too big a gap to fill. Games though will be more entertaining to watch and hopefully, we’ll start to see the net bulge more than we have recently.

Thank you to Chris Vaughan and Lincoln City Football Club for the photograph!

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