Colchester United on the look-out for a new striker

U's boss John McGreal

U's boss John McGreal - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Colchester United boss John McGreal is on the look-out for a new striker, when the transfer window opens in January.

McGreal snapped up centre-half Jermaine Grandison, a free agent, last week to bolster his defensive options going into the second half of the season.

But he will have to wait until next month to make any moves in the transfer market, in terms of loan recruits or signing a player attached to another club.

McGreal has suggested that he could be in the market for two or three new players, as the U’s look to strengthen their play-off bid in their first season back in League Two, after an 18-year absence,

Top of his post-Christmas wish-list is a striker.

“A new striker will be my main priority during January,” insisted McGreal, who is midway through his first-ever season in senior management.

“I love my goalscorers, and I love my strikers. I want healthy competition throughout the squad.

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“I’m looking at one or two different players, and the main area is for an attacking player, whoever that might be.

“We’ve had so many injuries over the course of the first 21 matches – they’ve almost been off-the-scale – so we need to utilise the month of January to strengthen the squad, if we can. I’m looking at all sorts, possible loans and also unattached players, like Jermaine (Grandison),” added McGreal.

Will Hoskins, the former Rotherham and Watford striker, did have a trial with the U’s at the same time as centre-half Grandison was being put through his paces at the Essex club. But whereas Grandison was offered a contract until the end of the season, which he duly signed, fellow free agent Hoskins was not offered a deal after a couple of weeks of training earlier this month.

Hoskins, now aged 30, has had his injury problems of late, making just eight league appearances for his last club, Exeter City, in League Two last season. He was released by the Grecians this summer.

“We needed a striker a little fitter than Will (Hoskins), who would be able to hit the ground running,” admitted McGreal.

“Will was prepared to put in the work, to get match-fit, but I really needed him to be competitive straight away. What with Chris Porter’s recent injury, we have been a little short of attacking options. I am still looking for another striker in January, but Will was not fit enough to be offered a deal,” added McGreal.

The U’s are in action at Luton Town on Boxing Day.

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