Fleetwood Town have acted swiftly to replace departing forward David Ball by beating off a host of Championship and League One clubs to sign Everton hot-shot Conor McAleny.
The 24-year-old attacker has been released by Premier League side Everton with a number of clubs keen to snap-up the former Brentford, Cardiff City and Wigan Athletic loanee.
Like previous summer signings 21-year-old midfielder Kyle Dempsey and 20-year-old defender Harvey Rodgers McAleny joins Town on a three-year deal.
He has scored in the Championship for Wigan and Cardiff and arrives at Town after firing ten goals in just 14 starts for fellow League One side Oxford United last season after joining them on loan in January.
That figure is just four less than Town’s departing 14-goal top scorer Ball who clinched a free transfer to Town’s league rivals Rotherham yesterday but Town have acted quickly to replace the 27-year-old with a man head coach Uwe Rosler knows all about.
McAleny has previous experience of working with Rosler having spent time on loan at the German’s then Brentford side in 2013 but a broken leg saw his spell end early.
And now McAleny believes Town is the place to make his mark as he started pre-season training with his new team mates.
He said: “I’m delighted, it’s a club on the up and I’m very excited to be a part of it.”
“Obviously I am an attacking player. I’ll work hard for the team, that goes without saying. I like to chip in with a few goals and always got my eyes on the goal.
“It’s definitely the right time, I need to go somewhere and settle down and make it on my own, this is the place to do it.
“It’s exciting times, like I said, they are a club on the up. I know the manager, they are a good bunch of lads, the facilities are spot on and it’s definitely the right place to be.”
“He’s a top manager you know and he gets the best out of players. You can see the players responding really well to him here so that’s the way he is so I’m pleased.”
And Town chairman Andy Pilley says the fact that McAleny turned down offers from the Championship to join Town shows which direction the club is going as they bid to build on last term’s fourth-placed League One finish.
He said: “This is a very exciting signing for our football club. Conor has turned down a number of offers from clubs in the Championship to sign for Fleetwood Town which shows where we are going as a club.
“We feel we have signed an attacker who will score us goals, and I personally can’t wait to see him pull on a Fleetwood Town shirt.”