The signings of Jorge Grant and Nicky Ajose are a real statement of intent by Mansfield Town.
Both players have proved they are more than capable of playing at this level, as well as higher up in League One. All the credit goes to the Radfords for backing manager David Flitcroft in bringing the targets to the club. Both players will have a huge part to play in the second half of the season.
Ajose started his career at Manchester United but struggled to get into the first team. Instead, he was loaned out to a number of clubs, including Bury, Peterborough, Swindon and Charlton. He is a player who has pace, vision and goals. At 27, he has had a wealth of experience at League One level and is capable of becoming a lynchpin for us up front, contributing alongside Tyler Walker.
The other aspect with Ajose is he knows a lot of the players, having played against them, and, more importantly, he will fit our style of play, moving forward. With the amount of creativity we have within the team, he will thrive off it. You can’t but help to get excited as this will be a big chance for him to show Charlton what they are missing out on.
Grant has been at Nottingham Forest since 2013. He came through the youth ranks with Walker and they have remained good friends throughout their careers. One of the biggest factors in Grant coming to Stags was Walker. They link up well together and know each other on and off the pitch.
Last season, Grant had a great time for Notts County, scoring 23 goals and assisting nine times in all cups and competition. The Magpies just missed out on promotion to League One at the hands of Coventry City.
In the first part of this season, Grant spent time on loan at Luton Town, where he played more than 20 games, scoring four goals and assisting in his time with the Hatters. While with Luton, Grant picked up an injury, which ruled him out for ten days, and so manager Nathan Jones gave other midfielders a chance to shine, which made it difficult for Grant to get back in the side.
Like Ajose, Grant will fit in perfectly with our style of play and the link-up play can only bolster us going forward. Still only 24, Grant will add to an already good-quality midfield, featuring the likes of Otis Khan, Alex MacDonald, Neal Bishop, Jacob Mellis and Calum Butcher. It is an exciting time to be a Mansfield Town fan.