The Cobblers have signed Millwall striker John Marquis on loan until the end of the season after it was confirmed skipper Marc Richards has been ruled out for at least four weeks with an Achilles injury.
Chris Wilder moved quickly to bolster his team’s attacking options, and has brought in Marquis who is well known to Cobblers fans after he played a key role in the club’s survival on the final day of the season in 2014.
Marquis only scored twice in 14 appearances in his previous spell at Sixfields, but one of those was in the final-day 3-1 win over Oxford United, and the player became a fans’ favourite due to his exceptional work-rate.
Losing 18-goal top-scorer Richards is obviously a major disappointment, but Wilder believes the signing of Marquis will soften the blow.
“Of course losing Marc is a blow, but we are delighted to have re-signed John to add to our squad,” said the Cobblers boss.
“When I spoke to the chairman (Kelvin Thomas) in January, we agreed to keep some money available so that we could cover injuries, and this is a perfect example of this.
“This is a big 15 games for the club and we were need to be at our strongest as a squad.
“If Marc had only been out for a couple of games I’m not sure we would have acted, but with him probably missing for longer than that we felt it was right to strengthen.
“John is a player the supprters know well, and he was very popular here in his first spell. He is a fighter, a striker who has a physical presence and can finish.
“He will be able to hit the ground running, he knows the club, he knows what we are all about and he has been in and around the Millwall squad so he is fit and ready.
“John is also out of contract at Millwall in the summer, so this gives both parties the chance to have another look at each other over the remainder of the season.”
Marquis has been unable to win a regular starting place at Millwall this season due to the form of ex-Cobbler Steve Morison and Lee Gregory , but did come off the bench on Saturday as the Lions beat Peterborough United 3-0.
Earlier this season he was on loan at Leyton Orient, scoring once for the Brisbane Road club, which is his only goal so far this season.
In all, Marquis has netted 24 goals in his career, which has seen him make 86 starts and 56 substitute appearances for various clubs including Cheltenham Town, Gillingham, Torquay United and Portsmouth.
The 23-year-old is set to go straight into the squad for the Sky Bet League Two trip to York City on Tuesday night.