Former Crawley Town and Manchester United youth player signs for Mansfield Town

Crawley Town could be facing former striker Nicky Ajose when they travel to Mansfield Town tomorrow night.

Mansfield Town today made their second transfer window signing after taking THE Charlton Athletic striker on loan for the rest of the season.

Nicky Ajose celebrates scoring the winner for Crawley Town against Leyton Orient in 2012. Picture by Jon Rigby

Nicky Ajose celebrates scoring the winner for Crawley Town against Leyton Orient in 2012. Picture by Jon Rigby

Ajose made 19 appearances for the Reds and scored two goals whilst on loan in 2012.

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Stags boss David Flitcroft is delighted that the 27-year-old has agreed to drop a division to help try to shoot Stags to promotion.

Flitcroft said: “Nicky is a proven goal scorer with nearly 100 goals on his CV at only 27.

“His qualities will suit the way we play, and the number of quality chances that the team creates.”

“Nicky could’ve been in and out of a League One team who are going for promotion, so the hunger and desire he has shown to come to us is what has most impressed me.

“He wants to come here, make games and score goals. His quality in his finishing, intelligence in and around the pitch and movement is fantastic.

“He is a player who can link well with current players in our squad. We have an excellent environment which Nicky will thrive in here.”

Born in Bury, Ajose began his career with Manchester United, though never made their first team.

He ended up with the Addicks after spells at Peterborough, Leeds United and Swindon Town.

Ajose was part of the Bury side that won promotion from League Two in the 2010-11 season, scoring 13 times as the Shakers finished second in the table, and he also won Swindon’s Player of the Season award in 2016, after netting 25 times in 40 appearances.

Ajose has made 16 appearances for Charlton this season, the majority of which have come in Sky Bet League One, and he was on target in Charlton’s 5-0 FA Cup win over Mansfield back in November.

He was capped by England at U16 and U17 level and was also called up by Nigeria U20s for the 2009 African Youth Championship.

Stags brought in Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Jordan Smith on loan on Friday.

Quick chance for Mansfield Town to bounce back against visiting Crawley Town

Charlton manager Lee Bowyer said: “Every player wants to play and it has been hard for Nicky.

“He has got two strikers who are doing well in front of him.

“I hope he does well. He has been a great pro. Mansfield are looking to get promotion from League Two and it will be a new challenge for him.

“They create a lot of chances. It’s a good opportunity for him to go there, play games, score goals and maybe get promotion with them.

“I wish him all the best. I’ve not had one ounce of a problem with him around the place.

“I told him on Friday that he’d been a good pro. I understand sometimes people just want to go and play – that’s the situation with him.”