The Cobblers have signed former Port Vale and Barnsley defender Lee Collins.
And boss Aidy Boothroyd has revealed that the Cobblers had to ‘fend off’ a number of clubs to secure the signing of a player he is convinced should be playing at a higher level than npower League Two.
Collins has been signed on a contract to the end of the season, and Boothroyd said: “I like Lee and I think if you are going to be successful then you have got to get players in who are better than the level that you are at.
“Lee certainly is that and he played for us in a reserve team friendly at Stoke in the week.
“He’s been training with us and I am delighted we have been able to bring him in.
“He is a good defender, he can play in more than one position, he has a fantastic attitude and we had to fend off a number of clubs to sign him.
“I am delighted he is here.”
Collins, who has been handed squad number six, is 24 and can play at centre back or left back.
He was released by npower Championship outfit Barnsley just before the transfer window closed.
He is a product of the Wolves Academy, who spent much of the 2007–08 season on loan at Hereford United, helping the Bulls win promotion into league one.
He joined Port Vale on loan at the start of the 2008–09 season, and his loan stay was made permanent in January 2009.
Collins played 53 games for the Valiants in 2009–10, and continued to be a key member of the defence in 2010–11.
He joined Barnsley on loan in March 2012, with a view to a permanent deal that summer, but only made seven appearances for the Oakwell club.
Collins had a loan spell at Shrewsbury in league one in the first half of the current season, playing 10 times for the Shrews before returning to Barnsley.
He hasn’t played a first team game since November 6 last year.
In all, Collins has made 200 senior appearances, seven as a substitute, and scored four goals, the most recent of which was March, 2011.
He is likely to go straight into the squad for the Cobblers league two clash with Rochdale at Sixfields tomorrow (ko 3pm).