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Page last updated at 17:05 GMT, Wednesday, 6 October 2010 18:05 UK

Mansfield Town swoop for keeper Mihkel Aksalu

Alan Marriott
Marriott has played 78 times since joining Mansfield in January 2009

Mansfield have signed keeper Mihkel Aksalu on loan from Sheffield United after Alan Marriott was ruled out for up to three months with a groin injury.

The 26-year-old Estonia international has joined the Stags on a two-month deal after they learned Marriott, 32, would need an operation.

Marriott had to be substituted half-way through Tuesday's 5-2 home defeat by AFC Wimbledon.

Aksalu is set to make his debut in Saturday's televised trip to Rushden.

He joined the Blades midway through last season but is yet to make a first-team appearance.

Mansfield boss David Holdsworth told the club website: "It was a real blow to lose Alan Marriott but I have had to move quickly to seek a replacement.

"I am delighted to sign an experienced goalkeeper like Mihkel.

"He will now play a big part in our season over the next few months which will prove fundamental to our campaign."

Holdsworth had revealed the details of Marriott's injury to BBC Radio Nottingham and said: "We did have a diagnosis in the summer but we put it off and hoped that it may be alright."

The news of the severity of Marriott's injury followed Mansfield's second defeat in three games which saw them slip out of the Blue Square Bet Premier play-off places.

Captain Steve Foster said the influential shot-stopper will be missed.

He said: "He'll be a massive loss to us, he's an outstanding keeper... the best in the division."

Meanwhile, the Stags have signed French defender Julian Cherel, 27, on non-contract terms.



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