Southend United have agreed a fee with League One rivals Lincoln City for striker Tom Hopper.
The club confirmed the news in a statement on their official website adding the club had allowed the twenty-six-year-old to talk to the Imps over personal terms.
The Shrimpers are second from bottom of League One after a disastrous season. They have won only two league games all season and are twelve points from safety.
Hopper arrived at Roots Hall in the summer of 2018 after his release by Scunthorpe United. He started well, scoring seven goals in fourteen appearances before a serious cruciate ligament injury picked up in Southend’s 3-0 over Walsall in October 2018 put the brakes on his progress. He returned to action a year later and currently has three goals from sixteen outings this term.
Many Southend fans have long accepted their club will be playing League Two football next season and they were not slow to voice their frustrations when news broke of the potential move on social media. Most appear to feel getting a fee for a player who is out of contract in the summer is good business but also believe selling one of their best players is a sure sign the club is preparing for life in the EFL’s basement division.
All is not well at the club, as the following selection of responses to the news on Twitter illustrates.
Like rats off a sinking ship
— ShrimpersTalk.co.uk ?⚽️ (@ShrimpersTalk) January 20, 2020
Selling our best player for a rumoured 150K. Ridiculous! Written off this season completely now. Suppose Ron'll want season cards renewed soon!
— Colin Nicoll (@cjblues2505) January 20, 2020
Blimey, I've heard of preparing for relegation but to be offloading so many senior players seems madness, let's just throw the gloves in totally!
— Kay Fogg (@Kaylalula) January 20, 2020
Apparently Hopper on £30k per month and if true it isnt justified at the moment. Kelman is next top scorer so just hope he stays fit!
— Sea-Sea-Seasider (@sjapresley) January 20, 2020
I didn’t think this season could get worse. Turns out it could. Farewell Hops x
— Rylee Doe (@rylee_doe) January 20, 2020
Clearly struggling to pay wage bill
— Charlie (@CharlieEliott) January 20, 2020
I won’t be renewing our 5 season tickets next year then
— Steve P (@StevePo82384832) January 20, 2020
This is a joke.
— Theo Paphitis (@TheoPaphitis4) January 20, 2020
The one single ray of hope I had for this/next season. Goodbye Tom x
— Ben Humphrey (@bhumphrey_04) January 20, 2020