Lincoln City’s exceptional 2016/17 season, comprising of promotion back to the Football League and an historic run to the FA Cup quarter-finals, could come at a cost.
The Daily Mail claim that centre-back Sean Raggett was on the radar of Premier League side West Bromwich Albion after netting the televised winner at Burnley’s Turf Moor in FA Cup round five.
And now it appears that 24-year-old central midfielder Alex Woodyard has also caught the eye. The Birmingham Mail claim that Aston Villa will challenge a number of Football League clubs, including Bolton Wanderers, to bring him to the Midlands this summer.
Sweeping the board at Lincoln’s end of season awards, plus earning the National League Player of the Year trophy, Woodyard is certainly deserving of the chance to ply his trade at a higher level.
Whether the combative former Charlton youngster could make the grade at Villa, however, is anyone’s guess. The club dabbled in signing highly-rated talents from lower leagues during Paul Lambert’s tenure with decidedly mixed results.
Woodyard the workhorse
The likes of Ashley Westwood and Jordan Bowery may have struggled to step up during Villa’s days in the Premier League. However, Woodyard could be exactly the kind of player manager Steve Bruce is looking out for.
Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce
Bruce openly questioned Villa’s commitment and character after a series of limp defeats in his first few months in charge but you could hardly accuse Woodyard of lacking the same attributes.
Dynamic and hard-working, he played a staggering 56 games in all competitions last season. And he could be the selfless work horse that allows the technically gifted Henri Lansbury and Conor Hourihane to thrive.