Alexander strikes for Bell

Amari'i Bell in action against Fleetwood last season
Amari'i Bell in action against Fleetwood last season
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Fleetwood Town boss Graham Alexander has made his second swoop into the transfer market to secure the signature of left sided midfielder Amari’i Bell.

The Burton-born 21-year-old was released by Birmingham City at the start of the summer.

Capable of playing as a midfielder or a left back he has spent spells on loan at Kidderminster Harriers, Mansfield Town, Swindon Town and Gillingham - making 17 appearances in League One last term.

He made his debut for the Blues in January 2014 but found it tough to break into the first team at the Championship club.

Bell is Town’s second summer capture, following Scottish striker Declan McManus through the door.

He is likely to provide competition for Danny Andrew following the departure of Stephen Crainey and potentially fill the hole left by Josh Morris - the Blackburn Rovers midfielder unlikely to return four a fourth loan spell at Highbury.

Fleetwood boss Alexander made it clear Morris’ wages at Blackburn Rovers made a deal extremely difficult.

Bell however is a player who comes with experience of League One and a background with a club at a higher level.

Those are precisely the things Alexander is looking for in his summer intake - Town looking to recruit young, hungry players who can be improved during their time at the club.

And having monitored the former Birmingham man for some time, Alexander was delighted to secure his signature.

He said: “Amari’i is a player we’ve known about for a while as he’s played against us in the past and we thought he was very good.

“It’s a side of the pitch where we need variation and competition.

“What he gives us is a balance to our squad and gives us adaptability where he can play in three different positions.”

Bell, who faced Fleetwood for Gillingham and Swindon last season, is excited to be joining the Fylde coast club.

He said: “I’ve heard a lot of good things about Fleetwood Town.

I like the direction that the Club is going in, and I’m really impressed with it.”

And he’s ready for life in League One - having got a good taste last time around.

“I know this level a bit more now after being at Swindon and Gillingham.

“I feel I can defend well, but also I can attack well, I like to do both sides of the game so hopefully I can come here and get a few goals.”

Town are understood to be close to sealing deals with a number of other summer targets having opted to release 14 players at the end of the 2014/15 campaign.

Alexander has made it clear Bell and McManus are the type of player they will be recruiting over the closed season with the club moving away from big spending, partly as a result of strict financial fair play regulations which limit their wage spend to 60 per cent of turnover.

Bell’s transfer will be completed when his current deal ends on July 1.