The Cobblers have signed Shrewsbury Town striker James Collins on loan until the end of the season.
The 25-year-old has been a regular in the Shrews starting line-up in Sky Bet League One this season, and has been captaining the team since November.
Coventry-born Collins, who has started 23 games for Micky Mellon’s team this term and is their joint top scorer with seven goals, played the full 90 minutes and was skipper in the Shrews’ 7-1 humiliation at Chesterfield on Saturday, but has now joined the Cobblers until May.
It is a surprising move and one that has seemingly come about as Shrewsbury try to trim their wage bill, but one that Town manager Chris Wilder is understandably delighted about.
“It is a great signing for us, an outstanding one,” said Wilder, who today announced he has allowed Dominic Calvert-Lewin to return to Sheffield United.
“We are delighted that we have attracted a player of James’s experience, because he has had promotions out of this division.
“He has goalscoring ability, strength, great attitude, wants to win and wants to run around.
“We talked about adding to this group at the vital stage, which is now, and we have certainly done that.
“I spoke to the boy and he wanted to come when we showed our interest.
“He knows about us and obviously played against us last year when we went to Shrewsbury and popped their unbeaten home record.
“He has seen the progression we have made, and he is an excellent signing for the football club.
“I think he fits in with the way we work, and I am sure he will become a favourite with our supporters as well.”
Collins won’t be able to play in Saturday’s FA Cup third round clash with MK Dons as he is cup-tied, but he will be available for next Tuesday’s trip to leaders Plymouth Argyle in league two.
The Cobblers made initial contact with Shrewsbury regarding Collins last week, and the league one strugglers - they are currently fifth-bottom, one point above the relegation zone - agreed he could move on Monday.
Collins was Shrewsbury’s 17-goal top-scorer in their league two promotion campaign last season, and in all has a scoring record of 79 goals in 206 senior starts, plus 59 substitute appearances.