Chester FC: James Alabi must make the 'right move' for his career


Charlie Croasdale

JAMES ALABI admits he must make the ‘right move’ for his career with the striker set to leave Chester.

The powerful centre forward has been offered an improved deal to remain with the Blues, but explained he will ‘consider his options’ over the coming weeks with Football League clubs and two other National League teams signalling their interest over the past week.

Alabi, Chester’s top scorer last season with 18 goals in all competitions, hasn’t ruled out staying at the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium for another 12 months, but accepts a move away is more than likely.

“Chester have offered me a really decent contract and I’d be lying if I said I am not considering staying,” said the 22-year-old, who was subject of a rejected £10,000 bid from Barnet in January, which Chester described as ‘derisory’.

“Of course it is something to consider because the club have made me a good offer but the main thing for me is to make sure this next step is the right move for my career.

“Whether that is at Chester or away from Chester, I’m not sure yet. It’s not the time to rush into anything, I’ve got to weigh up what is best for myself and for my career.

“There’s been some contact from clubs in the Football League and a couple of teams in the National League too.

“I’m enjoying my time off at the moment, taking time to consider my options. It’s a good chance to explore my options, I will sit down with my agent and we can talk through those options when the time is right.”

Alabi’s career got the kickstart it needed since joining Chester in January 2016, having struggled to make an impact at Stoke and Ipswich, as well as loan spells at Scunthorpe, Forest Green, Accrington and Grimsby.

The big targetman explained he will always be grateful to Blues’ boss Jon McCarthy for taking a chance on his talents and hopes to make an impact if he does move to a higher level.

“Chester have been really good to me and I will always be grateful for the impact they’ve had on my career,” he continued.

“I had struggled to establish myself but Chester gave me an opportunity and the gaffer has been brilliant in keeping faith in me and playing me regularly.

“I’d never rule out staying at Chester, and I’d certainly never forget Chester when I’m looking at where I want to play my football next season.

“In terms of going back to London, that’s not really a big factor. I’ve travelled throughout my career so far, I’ve been to Stoke, Ipswich, Chester, so it’s not a case of definitely wanting to return down south.”

McCarthy has moved swiftly in an attempt to replace Alabi’s goals next season, with Harry White and Nyal Bell arriving, as well as James Akintunde signing a new one-year deal.

“James Aktintunde could be a 20-goal per season striker,” Alabi added. “He has all the talent and he’s great to play up front with because he is always making runs off the ball.

“I think if James gets a run of games the Chester fans will soon see what we’d been seeing in training and he’ll score a lot of goals.”

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