Cobblers striker Akinfenwa sparks transfer speculation

FUTURE UP IN THE AIR - Adebayo Akinfenwa, pictured celebrating his winning goal against Burton (Picture: Kelly Cooper)
FUTURE UP IN THE AIR - Adebayo Akinfenwa, pictured celebrating his winning goal against Burton (Picture: Kelly Cooper)

Adebayo Akinfenwa has sparked speculation about his immediate future at the Cobblers after hinting he may be about to leave the club.

Northampton’s leading goalscorer made it 15 goals for the season on Saturday as Burton Albion became the 10th side to taste league defeat at Sixfields during the current campaign.

The striker has scored 65 times in Town colours, over two spells, but is only under contract until the end of the season.

That situation could alert a number of clubs to the availability of a player who is a consistent goalscorer in league two and who could potentially be purchased at a knock-down price.

“Some things happen because they are meant to and not because you want them to,” said Akinfenwa, when asked about his future.

“I haven’t got a crystal ball and everybody knows I have got so much love for this place.

“This is my second home away from my home in London, but as I said, some things do happen because they are meant to. That’s how it is.”

Akinfenwa has been strongly linked during this transfer window with a move to a fellow npower League Two club, who it is understood also tried to recruit the player in the week of November that the loan deadline ran out.

The striker was not initially in manager Aidy Boothroyd’s plans at the start of the season, and was an unused substitute for the first game of the campaign at Rochdale but gradually forced his way into the side and has been a regular since the autumn.

In August, two clubs from league one - both based to the south of Northampton - made approaches for the striker but he remained at Sixfields.

Such transfer interest was not the first the club had received for Akinfenwa during this, his second spell in their employment, as Crawley Town lodged a six-figure bid for the player during the January transfer window of 2012.

During that time, the club felt the player would be needed to score the goals required to keep the club in the Football League, something he duly did with a five-goal haul during the month of March that helped the side win some crucial games and proved pivotal in the survival bid.

Boothroyd faces a similar decision this time around, knowing the fee for Akinfenwa would be far lower because of the period of time left on his contract but also aware any money the club does receive would need to be reinvested in a forward line whose firepower was reduced in October when Alex Nicholls suffered a double leg break.

From Akinfenwa’s point of view, a move could be a good option. Northampton are reluctant to discuss new contracts with any of their players whose deals expire this summer and if the striker were to move on now he would almost certainly be given a two-year deal, providing financial security for his family in what might be his final big contract as a professional.