If Nottingham Forest were interested in John Akinde when he was scoring for fun in non-league, the Barnet goal machine should certainly remain on their radar after two prolific campaigns in the fourth tier.
The Nottingham Post claimed in 2015 that Forest were tracking the striker after he inspired Barnet to promotion back to the Football League with 31 goals – only for the club’s transfer embargo to scupper any hopes of bringing him to the City Ground.
Flash forward two years, however, and Akinde appears even better equipped to make the step up to the East Midlands giants. The 27-year-old netted 23 goals in his first full campaign in the Football League in 2015/16 and he has matched that tally this season with five games to spare.
Quite simply, there are few strikers quite as prolific, or consistent, in the top four tiers. And Forest could certainly use a striker of his ilk.
Though defending has been the club’s main issue this reason rather than goalscoring, only Britt Assombalonga has struck double figures for Forest. In total, he is one of 17 players to have hit the back of the net in 2016/17.
Yet, if Mark Warburton is to inspire a charge up the league table next season, he needs a forward with the ability to score on a regular basis.
And though Omar Bogle’s struggles since swapping Grimsby Town (below) for Wigan Athletic have merely highlighted the difficulty of adapting to the Championship from League Two, Akinde’s stunning strike record over the last two seasons means he is worth a punt.