Lewis Fiorini and the Scottish connection at Lincoln helping Man City midfielder advance ambitions with club and country

Having signed a new five-year contract at Manchester City this summer, Scotland under-21 international midfielder Lewis Fiorini’s dream of one day earning a first team slot with the English Premier League champions remains very much alive.

Scotland under-21 international midfielder Lewis Fiorini signed a new five-year contract at Manchester City in the summer of 2021. (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)

But for the moment, Fiorini is more than happy to learn his trade in the less rarefied environment of League One with Lincoln City.

It’s a second loan spell for the 19-year-old who spent last season in the Dutch second tier with NAC Breda, narrowly missing out on promotion with defeat in the Eredivisie play-off final.

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While Fiorini may be out of sight as far as Pep Guardiola is concerned, he certainly isn’t out of mind as the City manager’s backroom staff keep a close eye on his progress.

Liam Bridcutt, pictured in action for Scotland against Denmark at Hampden in 2016, is a Lincoln City team-mate of Lewis Fiorini (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group).

“We have a loans team at City and they check in with me regularly,” said Fiorini.

“They make sure everything is okay with me and that I’m happy. They will obviously have a lot of contact with Lincoln as well.

“They watch my games and give me feedback so I'm in regular contact with my main guy who is Gareth Whalley, the loans manager at City.

“He came to watch my game on Saturday and gets to my games when he can. He will watch them and give me feedback but I also have the staff at Lincoln doing that. It’s nice to have different opinions as different eyes can see different things.

“Some days I might think I had a worldy and someone else may think I wasn’t so good. There will be days when I will think I was poor and someone may say I wasn’t as bad as I thought I was. It’s great to have different eyes and different perspectives.

“Physically it’s a big change at Lincoln, compared to being over in Holland. In terms of the ability and quality of players, there is not a huge difference. It’s just the ugly parts of the game and the physical side with the contact and things. That’s the big step up.

“In League One year we have some massive clubs and great competition. There are also a lot of different styles from game to game and we are coming up against completely different outfits.”

Fiorini, who qualifies for Scotland through his late grandmother, is set to win his second cap at under-21 level in Thursday’s Euro 2023 qualifier against Denmark at Tynecastle.

He has discovered a strong Caledonian connection at Lincoln where his team-mates include club captain Liam Bridcutt, former Falkirk midfielder Conor McGrandles, ex-Aberdeen forward Chris Maguire and recent signing from Dundee United, Jamie Robson.

“We have quite a big Scottish contingent, guys who have played or are eligible to play for Scotland,” said Fiorini.

“Liam Bridcutt has been a big one for me, sharing the midfield with him. He has vast experience, having played in the Premier League and for Scotland as well. He is a big voice for me - he usually plays just behind me and is always talking to me and helping me.

“Being an attacking midfielder, I’ll be judged on my goals and assists, the number of chances I create. I’ve scored three so far for Lincoln, a good return, and I’d like to get off the mark for Scotland in this campaign on Thursday night.”

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