Crewe Alex: goals hope for Finney as '£1m striker' set for return

  Posted: 14.10.21 at 13:09 by The Editor

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DAVE Artell says Oli Finney can emerge again after a difficult spell sidelined by injury while watching as "his friends" have departed Crewe in big moves.

The attacking midfielder appears to be returning to form after netting two goals in his last two outings against Cambridge United and Wigan in the Papa John's Trophy.

The Stoke-born midfielder had struggled to cement a starting place in the opening two months of the campaign, but his manager is confident he can maintain his scoring run.

Finney contributed an eight-goal haul last season, which included notching five in six games before he broke his leg after falling victim to a bad challenge at Shrewsbury on February 2.

He only returned for Crewe's final game, also against Salop, in May.

As he worked on rebuilding his fitness over the summer months former colleagues such as Harry Pickering and fellow Stokie Ryan Wintle departed for Championship football - and his manager says that has had an effect on him.

"It's taken Oli a while to get going this season which is half understandable because of his injury and the upheaval he's seen with his friends moving on in the summer," said Artell.

"But here we grant players time, support, care and I am sure he will pay us back in spades.

"It is important that Oli scores goals because that is a large part of his game."

Meanwhile, the Alex boss is looking forward to seeing his frontline improved with summer signing Chris Long fit again and potentially an option for Saturday's trip to Fleetwood Town (K.O 3pm).

Crewe have only scored nine times in their 11 League One fixtures to date, but Artell warned: "Anyone who saw Chris in pre-season could see he has all the attributes. He's got some really good skills, he's a finisher and he's prepared to work his socks off.

"He's been more frustrated than anyone as he says he's never been injured this long in his career.

"But he's been fine for over a week now after working with the sports scientists so we're looking forward to seeing him play.

"You don't get signed for £1m (Everton to Burnley) if you are rubbish, although that doesn't mean you're always worth £1m."

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