'He's desperate to impress' - Lincoln City boss Michael Appleton celebrates signing of Leeds United's Robbie Gotts
The League One club confirmed the season-long loan deal this evening and Gotts is expected to train with the Imps tomorrow in preparation for their game at Fleetwood Town on Saturday.
Gotts' versatility and quality are what caught Appleton's eye and led to the move, after weeks of interest from several other clubs. Hull City, Huddersfield Town, Blackpool and Charlton were all keen on the 20-year-old and Appleton is delighted to have got a player well liked by Marcelo Bielsa.
The Whites head coach recently put on record his admiration for the youngster.
"We think he's a very valuable player for us. It's very difficult to affirm what I've just said as he's had very few minutes in the first team," he said.
"But it is true that I have a big respect for Gotts' footballing abilities."
Appleton sees an eagerness to do well in his new midfielder.
"Robbie’s very versatile in terms of his ability to play in midfield or at full-back," said the Imps boss.
"He’s got bags of quality in possession of the ball and he’s got the energy and athleticism to get up and down the pitch too.
"Overall though he’s just another really good addition and the fact that it’s his first loan away quite excites me too because he's desperate to impress and desperate to impress his new teammates as well.”
Leeds have implemented a new loan policy that aims to guarantee match minutes for their prospects. Loan clubs will benefit from a financial incentive if they play the youngsters, essentially getting the player for a nominal fee. If they don't feature, the club will pay a higher price.
Gotts is one of a number of Under 23s and fringe first team players who set their sights in loan moves following the Whites' promotion to the Premier League, viewing EFL clubs as their best chance of senior match minutes.
The midfielder made his Leeds debut last season in the FA Cup at Arsenal and won the Academy Player of the Year award.
This season he has been restricted to the Carabao Cup tie at home to Hull City but will now enjoy the Sincil Bank first team environment.
His representative Kevin Sharp said: "He's buzzing, he sees this as the next step in his development.
"He had a lot of involvement in squads last year but he hasn't had a lot of game time, so this is a chance to play and rack up the minutes he needs. Hopefully he'll come back to Leeds afterwards, do well and get involved at first team level.
"Victor Orta and Craig Dean deserve a lot of credit for making it happen for Robbie."
The domestic transfer window closes tomorrow at 5pm and Leeds are expecting left-back Barry Douglas to complete a move to Blackburn Rovers well before the deadline. The Scot has struggled for game time at Leeds and is currently behind Stuart Dallas in the pecking order.