Sunderland’s play-off rivals have announced the signing of an emergency loan goalkeeper ahead of Wednesday’s play-off semi-final clash.
According to a statement on their club website, Lincoln City have confirmed the signing of Stoke City’s goalkeeper Josef Bursik on an emergency loan deal.
The club revealed that they had asked the EFL for dispensation in order to complete the transfer as a result of the club’s own shot-stopper, Alex Palmer, suffering a head injury in training.
Finally, Lincoln confirmed that the England U21 international will be available for the play-off semi-final clash with Sunderland on Wednesday evening.
While the injury to Palmer is in no way the fault of Lincoln City, the timing of the transfer undoubtedly has the potential to leave a number of the Sunderland fans livid.
Indeed, while Palmer is a fine goalkeeper in his own right – having impressed over his 46 League One appearances for the Imps this season, keeping 19 clean sheets and averaging a SofaScore match rating of 6.94 – the arrival of a Championship-standard and England youth international in Bursik – who kept seven clean sheets over his 15 league appearances for Stoke this season – would appear to be an upgrade on the Lincoln shot-stopper.
As such, with a season-defining fixture ahead of both teams on Wednesday, it could be argued that Lincoln are now in a better position strength-wise as a direct result of Palmer’s injury.
This would appear to be the belief of a number of the Black Cats fanbase too, with one questioning how the signing of Bursik was allowed, while others simply stated their belief that the EFL sanctioning the move was an “absolute joke.”
However, with the deal being completed, there is now nothing more that Lee Johnson and his side can do regarding the issue, and must now find a way to defeat Lincoln City with their new shot-stopper between the sticks.