Carlisle United have today signed striker Offrande Zanzala on a half-season deal following his release from Crewe Alexandra at the weekend.
Striker Zanzala, 24, will be with the Blues until the end of the current campaign.
A graduate of the Derby County academy system, he spent time on-loan with Stevenage, Chester and Accrington Stanley whilst with the Rams.
The move to the Wham Stadium became permanent in the summer of 2018 and he went on to score 15 goals in 66 appearances with the club.
He joined Crewe ahead of the kick off of the 2020/21 season but left the Alex to join the Blues by mutual consent last Saturday.
Manager Chris Beech said: “Being honest, Ozzy is a player we’ve had on the radar for some time.
“He came to prominence at Accrington where he did ever so well in League One last year and before that, when he was breaking through at Derby, he was a player with the physical attributes, pace and power - added to the knack of getting a goal - that made him stand out.
“He ticks the boxes in terms of our own style of play, much more so than others we looked at, and provides real options to integrate into our attacking style quickly.
“From the conversations I’ve had with him he already has good rapport with a number of our own lads, like Callum Guy, who he grew up with, Nick Anderton, who he played with at Accrington, and Aaron Hayden, who he played against regularly in youth football in the midlands.
“All this helps significantly. I’ve spoken in the past about the sorts of dynamics I wanted to build and again, this supports that. Those relationships automatically help our boys battle that little bit more for each other, run that bit extra - it’s instinctive, it’s human nature.”
“What can our supporters expect to see from him?” he added. “Pace, power, that explosiveness in the final third, he’s probably more of an instinctive goal scorer too, which is never a bad thing.
“Things didn’t work out for him with newly promoted Crewe in League One and they played in a different way that didn’t work for him individually.
“He’s hungry to succeed, he’s a great age at 24, and he wants to do well. As football club, we all want to support that, and I’m delighted we’ve managed to work ever so hard to get him with us.
“Strikers with his attributes don’t come along very often and, when they do, they’re generally unattainable, so it’s pleasing to be in this position. Is there work to do ... absolutely, but I’m excited about the prospects.”