Mansfield Town are eyeing a move for Southend United winger Stephen McLaughlin, as reported by the Echo News.
The 30-year-old is being strongly linked with a move to fellow League Two side Mansfield, despite the fact Southend are likely to offer him a new deal. The Irishman has been with the Shrimpers since 2015 and has made 185 appearances for the club. He signed on loan from Nottingham Forest, later making the move more permanent, and has bagged 25 goals, with a further 29 assists in his Southend career.
He started out in his native Ireland as a youngster with Finn Harps, then switched to Derry City, before Nottingham Forest swooped in 2013. He struggled to impose himself at the City Ground, playing just 12 times, but he spent time on loan with Notts County and Bristol City. He is now thought to be close to reuniting with Graham Coughlan, the Stags boss who was assistant manager at Roots Hall
Mansfield have already signed Jordan Bowery and Jamie Reid and are now hoping to add McLaughlin as they eye an elusive promotion. Owner John Radford has consistently pumped money into the Stags but, as yet, hasn’t found the right formula for a top-three finish.
You can understand, to a degree, why McLaughlin might be a good capture for Mansfield, but it isn’t one to get the pulses racing. He wasn’t great for Southend this season, not that anyone was, and surely the likes of CJ Hamilton are just as effective, as well as carrying slightly less risk being under 30?
Mansfield are making their moves early, again, which may prove to be a fallacy. The best value business comes later in the season and whilst the odd signing is a good idea, we can’t help but think they’d do well to exercise caution.