Keith Curle says Steve Arnold brings much-needed competition for the goalkeeping position at the Cobblers.
The 29-year-old was signed for an undisclosed fee from Sky Bet League One side Shrewsbury Town on Monday, and becomes the third shot-stopper on the Town books, along with David Cornell and teenage academy product Bradley Lashley.
Cornell was the undisputed number one last season, but he will now have Arnold breathing down his neck for a first team start, and Curle believes that is good for everybody.
"I am delighted to bring Steve to the club," said Curle.
"Our squad needs a number of very important elements next season, with competition for places and having the right characters in the dressing room vital, and Steve ticks both boxes.
"David Cornell did very well for us last season, but you need competition for places all over the pitch, including in goal.
"David and Steve will challenge each other and compete with each other each week for that starting place to bring the best out of each other.
"Steve is a good size, he is strong and he is a presence. He is a good organiser, a good talker and he is very ambitious.
"He did well at Shrewsbury to earn himself the position of first choice as last season progressed.
"Steve will fit in well in the dressing room too. He has that winning mentality and he is another piece of the jigsaw in place."