Stags turn to Stoke starlet Alabi to halt goal drought

Stags boss Paul Cox.Stags boss Paul Cox.
Stags boss Paul Cox.
Mansfield Town look set to turn to young Stoke City striker James Alabi to solve their goal drought by taking him on a month’s loan.

The Premiership starlet, who turns 19 next week and is yet to make his first team debut for the Potters, is seen as an exciting prospect at the Britannia Stadium.

So, after five games without a win and 338 minutes without a goal, Mansfield manager Paul Cox has made a move to bring in Alabi for what would be an initial month’s loan in time for Friday’s League Two fixture at Southend United.

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The club were today in the process of completing forms and Cox said: “I am not shouting anything from the rooftops until the ink is dry on the paperwork.

“But James is very much in the Matt Green mould - very, very pacey, very, very direct and scores goals.

“The lad is very highly regarded. I have seen him play a couple of times and been impressed with him. It is initially for a month so the kid can have a look at us and we can have a look at him and I hope it is a decent match-up.”

Goal-shy Stags have so far failed to fully replace goal ace Matt Green, who joined Birmingham in the summer, and fans have been clamouring for manager Paul Cox to bring in a new striker.

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Alabi was born in London and began his career at Stoke’s academy in 2010/11, moving on to learn more at Scottish giants Celtic for a season before rejoining Stoke for the 2012/13 season.

In February of this year he made a loan move to League One Scunthorpe United, scoring 10 minutes after coming on as a 67th minute substitute for his professional debut against Hartlepool.

Alabi went on to make nine appearances, all off the bench, before the end of the season but could not help prevent Scunthorpe sliding to relegation.

Stags head for Roots Hall on Friday where Southend are breathing down their necks in the table, two places and a point behind, but have struggled at home of late, losing three and drawing one of their last five League games there and having lost their last two outings.

Mansfield will welcome back defender James Jennings after completing his one-game ban.