Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans finally ended his search for a goalscorer today with the arrival of prolific Oxford United striker Kane Hemmings on a season-long loan.
Evans had been snubbed by two strikers from higher divisions in recent weeks, but Hemmings arrives with better scoring statistics than any of them with a goal ratio of almost one every two games.
The 25-year-old has initially signed on loan with both clubs retaining an option to agree a more permanent solution for the player.
Evans has fought off interest from a large number of bigger clubs with work starting as early as May to make the deal come to fruition.
An outstanding capture, Hemmings has scored 53 goals in 106 appearances during his career and helped Oxford to an eighth-placed League One finish last season.
“We have said since the early part of May that we would like to sign another striker in addition to the four lads we currently have,” said manager Steve Evans.
“I’m delighted, after three months of hard work, that we’ve been able to land the young man from Oxford United, which was concluded this morning.
“Before I speak about Kane, I would firstly like to once again acknowledge the support of chairman John Radford and chief executive Carolyn Radford for working so hard to put an agreement in place with Oxford United.
“My thanks are also extended to Kane’s parent club for the professionalism in which they have dealt with our interest over a period of two to three months.
“This is a young man who I first tried to sign when he was scoring goals in the Scottish Premier League for Dundee and despite several attempts with my long term friend, the Dundee manager Paul Hartley, a fee could not be agreed.
“He then moved south to join Oxford United, where his goalscoring at an impressive rate has continued.
“Like all of our other signings, I offer the boy no further introduction, other than to say that anyone who can score a goal in every two games will always be a sought after commodity.
“I was delighted to learn only yesterday that we would be signing the player, given the interest of six to seven clubs in the Scottish Premier League as well as interest from at least six clubs in League One and numerous in League Two.
“I would like to think that the hard work in speaking to Kane’s representatives for a period of time has allowed him to join us.”
As a youngster, Hemmings spent three years with Tamworth before moving north of the border to join Rangers.
After joining at 17, Hemmings appeared in three consecutive Scottish Youth Cup finals and went on to captain the U19s.
He signed a new three-year contract in 2010 and made his first team debut in the Champions League qualifier against Malmo FF.
In January 2013, Hemmings went out on loan to Cowendbeath, where he scored four goals in seven games before he made the move permanent at the end of the season.
The frontman enjoyed a superb 2013/14 season with the Cowden and was named as the PFA Scotland Championship Player of the Year.
During that season, he scored the winning goal in the second leg of the relegation final against League One side Dunfermline, maintaining Cowdenbeath’s Championship status.
He left Cowdenbeath and moved back to England, joining then-League One side Barnsley on a free transfer before moving back to Scotland with Dundee a year later.
Hemmings excelled there, netting more than 20 goals in the Scottish Premiership, leading to Oxford United snapping him up in July 2016.
He signed for the U’s for an undisclosed six-figure fee, penning a three year deal.