The Imps have been linked with a move for Nicky Ajose, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Ajose spent the second half of last season on loan with Mansfield, scoring twice in 11 matches. That came after he failed to force his way into the Charlton Athletic side. He didn’t impress Lee Bowyer enough whilst out on loan and was released at the end of the season.
Ajose, 27, is allegedly considering offers from us, Blackpool and Exeter City. You’d certainly hope we’re ahead of Exeter in the race, but Blackpool are a side likely to give us trouble in the hunt for the forward. Mind you, speak to any Mansfield fan and they’ll tell you the chase won’t be worth it in the long run.
Ajose is certainly a journeyman, enjoying a relatively prolific loan spell at Bury whilst on Man Utd’s books. He left there for Peterborough in 2011, but struggled to get into the Posh side, instead going out on loan to Scunthorpe, Bury, Chesterfield, Swindon and Crawley.
He made a move to Leeds in 2014, but struggled to impress at Elland Road, having another loan spell, this time with Crewe, where he hit eight goals in his first 11 matches. He then made a move back to Swindon, excelling in his second spell at the County Ground and netting 25 goals in 40 outings in their League One campaign.
That prompted Charlton to sign him but he hasn’t captured that form for the Addicks. As well as Mansfield he’s been on loan with both Bury and Swindon again, scoring five in 15 for the latter and four in 14 for the former.
In his youth Ajose won England honours at under 16 and under 17 level, but is eligible for Nigeria. He’s not a tall player, 5ft 6in, but would play around a big man. His career total is 94 goals from 312 outings.
This is an interesting one. Some fans have seen the clinical side of him; I’ve spoken to a Swindon fan who really rated him. Then there are those Mansfield fans who watched him last season and felt he offered little. It would be a calculated risk; Ajose has played much of his football at League One or above and that experience, as well as his pace and awareness up top, would complement our current offering.