January 25, 2022 9.40 am

Lincoln City sign non-league striker as potential future star

Michael Appleton views Ben House as a long-term plan

Lincoln City’s ever-growing forward options have again been added to with the permanent signing of attacker Ben House from non-league side Eastleigh.

House, 22, is an academy graduate at Reading who joined Eastleigh in the National League in 2020, going on to make 63 appearances and score 15 times.

He has attracted interest from numerous EFL clubs with his performances in the National League over the last 18 months, and his form earned him two caps for Scotland under-21s.

House can operate as a striker but also on either flank, offering Micheal Appleton versatility in his selection, and he joins the Imps on a long-term contract.

Ben House impressed during his time at Eastleigh, and will now be given a chance to show his worth in League One. | Photo: Lincoln City FC / Chris Vaughan Photography

Ben said of the move to Lincoln: “It’s been a long time coming, but I’m very happy to be here and I can’t wait to get going with the rest of the season.

“I know the opportunity to develop here is top class, the club put their trust in young players and it’s a great opportunity for me to come here and progress with my career.

“I want to play as many games, score as many goals, and get as many wins as I can to help the team as much as possible and to impress the fans. I came to a game recently and the atmosphere was incredible and I’m really looking forward to getting out there.”

Liam Cullen has joined the Imps on loan from Swansea City. | Photo: Lincoln City Football Club/Chris Vaughan Photography

Ben is the latest in a fairly long list of attackers to join the Imps so far in January, with Lincoln having already secured loan deals for Swansea City pair Morgan Whittaker and Liam Cullen, as well as a short-term deal to sign John Marquis from Portsmouth.

Add to that the likes of Tom Hopper, Anthony Scully, Hakeeb Adelakun, Chris Maguire and academy graduate Freddie Draper, and the Imps all of a sudden have an embarrassment of riches in attacking options.

Imps manager Michael Appleton. | Photo: Lincoln City FC

Lincoln City manager, Michael Appleton, said: “Ben is a player we have been monitoring for some time and so I am delighted we’ve managed to sort a long-term deal to bring him to the club.

“We’ve clearly strengthened a lot in the forward areas already this window, but what I like about Ben is he’s young, he still has a lot to learn, and he will be our player beyond this season.

“Ben is not yet the finished article, but he has excellent attributes which we can develop, and he can play in more than one position so will add great depth and more options to the squad for the rest of this season.”

Three wins in their last four games have seen Lincoln City soar up the League One table into 16th place, nine points clear of the relegation zone and now starting to look up the standings rather than over their shoulder.

Next up for the Imps will be a home match against Burton Albion on Saturday, as Michael Appleton’s men hope to keep their good run of form going.