The loan market hasn’t been tapped into this summer by Danny Cowley, but give the experiences of last season he might be plotting his moves carefully after a series of let downs and misfits.
Last night, Adam Crookes and Toby Edser both appeared for the Imps as they faced Championship side Norwich, but the Imps manager is showing caution when picking the players he wants to borrow from other clubs.
Given last season’s selection, he might be wise.
The arrival of Jordan Maguire-Drew, Rob Dickie, Josh Ginnelly and Sean Raggett appeared to be great business. Raggett was a banker, he’d already been at the club and had been loaned back after the Norwich move, so there was no risk there. Danny knew he was getting a fine footballer who contributed admirably during his six-month stay.
Rob Dickie was perhaps intended to be a long-term Raggett replacement, loaned from Reading he had previously been with Cheltenham getting Football League experience.
Early in his Imps career he ousted captain Luke Waterfall, forming a defensive partnership with Raggett. A series of suspect displays saw him drop out of the side, but it was still a surprise when the option to buy Lincoln were promised in January turned into a two and a half year deal at Oxford United.
Josh Ginnelly was another safe bet, he’d been with the club as they came out of the National League and started superbly with a goal on the opening day of the season. A broken ankle a few weeks into the season stopped that momentum and he never recovered. His year long loan from Burnley was cut short in January and he too ended up elsewhere, helping Tranmere to the National League play off win.
Jordan Maguire-Drew was a disaster from the very start. His previous experience had been with Dagenham and Redbridge where he’d looked a class act, but at Lincoln he was left seriously adrift of the rest. Despite being handed a starting berth, he never impressed and made only a handful of starts before being dumped on the bench. When the time came, his loan was also cut short, with Coventry City happy to take him.
Within three games, he was warming the bench there too.
In the second half of the season Danny loaned Scott Wharton from Blackburn and Ryan Allsop from Bournemouth, both very competent players who helped push the Imps to a top seven finish, but despite having loan spaces free he didn’t dip his toe into the water any further.
With most of the summer already past us, it would be forgivable for thinking clubs might already have a loan player or two on board, but Danny has been bitten once and is now exercising extreme caution with his recruitment. Toby Edser shows a lot of promise, but Danny Cowley isn’t a man easily swayed by reports and hear say.
When he does make a move this summer, Imps fans will be hoping that the incoming players have more impact than the misfit trio from twelve months ago.
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