Embleton wants Orient forward Alabi to prove ‘everybody wrong’

PUBLISHED: 13:30 08 July 2019

Leyton Orient forward James Alabi scores the fifth goal against Harlow Town (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo).

Leyton Orient forward James Alabi scores the fifth goal against Harlow Town (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

The transfer-listed forward scored for Leyton Orient in their 5-0 win at Harlow Town on Saturday

James Alabi of Leyton Orient is congratulated after scoring the fifth goal against Harlow Town (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo).James Alabi of Leyton Orient is congratulated after scoring the fifth goal against Harlow Town (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo).

Ross Embleton has opened the door for Leyton Orient striker James Alabi to remain at the club despite last season's summer signing being transfer-listed in May.

The former Chester and Tranmere Rovers forward struggled for game time and goals in the 2018/19 campaign when the club won the National League.

He did pop up with a crucial equaliser at Halifax Town in September, but that was as good as it would get for Alabi, but at Harlow Town on Saturday he showed his quality and produced a decent finish for O's fifth goal in a 5-0 pre-season friendly win.

Asked about Alabi's future, interim head coach Embleton said: "Right now it's still the case James is transfer-listed and we'll have conversations with James over the next little while and talk about the direction that he and the club are going to go in.

"James deserves a massive amount of credit. He was probably the one that got a little bit missed last year in terms of we spoke about Alex Lawless, Matty Harrold and Charlie Lee and how well they did things when they weren't in the team.

"Sometimes that was forgotten about James Alabi too because he really endeared himself to the group and really made his mark.

"We were delighted with the way he went about his business even when he found himself out of the team and he's returned for pre-season with probably an even better attitude.

"The conversations I've had with him have been about how he proves everybody wrong and how he shows what strengths he's got.

"He's got different strengths to Conor Wilkinson, Ruel Sotirou and Lee Angol and the other strikers we've had at the club who have gone, but that doesn't mean he's not an asset. I think if James continues to work hard, who knows where that will lead."

In terms of the other way, Orient are actively seeking to improve their squad ahead of their League Two opener at home to Cheltenham Town on August 3.

Director of football Martin Ling has already secured the services of Wilkinson, Angol and Josh Wright, but at least one more addition is expected.

Embleton admitted: "More arrivals are something we are certainly looking for. You can see we have a good balance and mixture to the group with young players and experienced ones.

"That is definitely something on mine, Martin's and Steve Foster's agenda every time we speak and how we can best add to the squad and make it stronger.

"I'm delighted with how we went about it on Saturday and hopefully anyone that comes in will make this squad stronger."

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