Ex-Newcastle United striker and South Shields target joins League One Fleetwood Town

Fleetwood Town have announced the signing of ex-Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi
Fleetwood Town have announced the signing of ex-Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi

Ex-Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi has a new club - signing for League One strugglers Fleetwood Town until the end of the season.

The 34-year-old, a former England Under-21 and Nigerian international, is set to make his debut for the Cod Army in Saturday's clash with Port Vale.

Boss Steven Pressley has spoken of his delight at capturing the signature of the experienced striker, who made 298 appearances in the Premier League for both Newcastle United and Crystal Palace.

It comes just days after South Shields failed in an audacious bid to sign the former Newcastle striker.

The Northern League Division Two leaders had hoped to add Ameobi to a squad that already contains Sunderland legend Julio Arca, but were thwarted after the striker said he was considering other offers.

He has now joined Fleetwood Town, who are 21st in League One, a point from safety.

Pressley said: "In January we signed a number of younger players and it was vital to the group that we brought in a player with experience.

"We certainly couldn’t get any more experience than Shola Ameobi and we are absolutely delighted with that.

"He is not only a very good player; he is a terrific character that can bring a lot to the group.

"It is vital that he has been playing as sometimes unattached players at this stage in the season, the one thing they are lacking is a level of fitness.

"Shola has been involved at Bolton Wanderers on a regular basis for the vast majority of the season and he is raring to go ahead of Saturday’s trip to Port Vale."

Ameobi was left without a club after his short-term deal with Championship side Bolton Wanderers came to an end when the cash-hit Trotters – some £175million in debt – revealed they couldn’t afford to pay him any longer.

Ameobi offered to play for free, but that was blocked by the FA leaving the Nigeria international – who had spells at Turkish side Gaziantep and Crystal Palace since ending his 14-year career at Newcastle – available on a free.