With Chris Sutton`s contacts at Aston Villa being used to their full extent and Norwich and Celtic yet to play ball, Ian Pearce has been keen to enlist some winter warmers from his Fulham contacts. The news is that Aaron Brown is history and that at least two Fulham players will be joining pretty much as the clock strikes 12 to welcome in the New Year. The word is that the Imps may also have another Fulham tip off similar to the Flash Gordon deal a few weeks ago.
So who are the runners and riders in the New Year`s Day Stakes?
Robert Milsom Midfield 22 Years
If Torres returns to Posh and Heath returns to Forest then Robert could be our man as he can play left wing, as a left sided central midfielder or at left back. A product of the Fulham Academy he became a regular in the 2005/06 Reserve Team and has also captained the reserves on numerous occasions. Rob made his Premier League debut for Fulham as a second half substitute at Old Trafford on February 18 2009. Sadly just a week later he suffered a knee injury which will ruled him out for the remainder of the 08/09 season. Has again been a regular in the reserves this season but at 23 many feel he is more than ready to take a step up.
Matthew Saunders Midfield 20 Years
Matt has the engine of a Mercedes and goes box to box for 90 minutes. Always an outlet for his teammates he has that defensive midfield lynchpin knack of being in the right place at the right time. Comfortable on the ball he is a consistent two footed performer who many feel will be the next graduate to make it to the first team. For that he needs League experience and the Imps may just be his springboard.
Defender Matthew Briggs at 18 may also be an option though Sutton wants experienced players and his experience has been limited since breaking the record for youngest ever premier league player two seasons ago. Joe Anderson a 20 Year old left back/ defensive midfielder has also spent time on loan at Woking this season and might be seen as a replacement to Aaron Brown, if he can make a further step up. Neil Etheridge (19) and Wesley Foderingham (18) are two strong young keepers who might also step into Burch`s shoes should he go.
Two forwards who would grace the Bank are US star Eddie Johnson and Sweden`s David Elm. Both were signed in the summer though they have less than a handful of first team appearances between them. Both are in their twenties and full of goals, so a loan deal to sharpen them up has to be viewed as a godsend from Hodgson. One who could make a loan switch would be Marcello Trotta, a big and powerful Italian striker with an eye for goal, Marcello signed in September 2009. Michael Uwezu at just 19 Years is also a quality player. Michael can play wide or as a central striker and signed his first professional contract with Fulham at the end of the 2008/09 season after bagging 11 goals in 18 games for the Academy Under-18s that season. Another dark horse could be Danny Hoesen an 18 Year forward. Since moving from Fortuna Sittard in Holland to Fulham’s Academy he has scored regularly for the Lilywhites` U18 side last season but is now finding regular outings hard in the reserves.