New signing Zack Elbouzedi says that the vision that the Imps had was key to him joining Michael Appleton’s side, describing the move as “right for his development.”
Elbouzedi scored six times in Ireland’s top tier during the 2019 season, but his long term aim was to return to England to play football.
The 21-year-old had a two-year spell with West Bromwich Albion as a teenager, before returning to Ireland with Waterford following a spell in Scotland with Inverness CT.
“I was at West Brom and it’s tough to break through there,” he said.
“I ended up going back home to Ireland. It was always the goal to come back and test myself, but it had to be the right club and I feel like Lincoln is the right club for me to progress in my career.”
Although new boss Appleton has been part of the coaching setup at the Hawthorns in separate spells, his and Elbouzedi’s paths didn’t cross, but the Irishman revealed that he is excited to work under the former Baggies midfielder.
“I spoke to a couple of people at West Brom about Michael,” Zack added.
“They said he’s a great coach and will help me progress as a player. He’s young and hungry as well, and hopefully we can both keep progressing.
“I spoke to other people in the football world and they had nothing but good words to say about him.”
Zack has been an almost ever-present for Ireland’s youth set-ups since the under-15s level, and made his under-21s debut earlier in 2019 against Luxembourg.
Ireland under-21s sit top of their Euro U21 2020 qualifying group and have three games to secure their place at the Euro U21 2020 Championships in the summer.
“Playing for your country is the best feeling in the world, I have been luckily enough to do it from 15s to 21s and it’s an important for my development to have those opportunities,” he said.
“We’re top of the group, we have three more games and are in a great position to qualify but there are some tough teams, and hopefully make the step into the senior team.
“At the moment my focus is coming over here in January, and be ready to play and hit the ground running.”
Subject to international clearance, Zack could make his Imps debut on New Year’s Day against Peterborough United, with a trip to former Premier League side Sunderland following shortly after.
“Playing in the big games is one of the reasons I’ve come here and hopefully my clearance comes in by then and I’ll be able to play in those games in the New Year.”
Tickets are on sale for City's first game in 2020 as we host Peterborough United. Tickets are on sale here.