Newport County add three strikers but suffer Lenell John-Lewis blow

Conor Wilkinson and Deane Smalley
Conor Wilkinson and Deane Smalley will be available to play against Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday

Newport County have signed three strikers to help them in their League Two relegation battle.

Bolton's Conor Wilkinson, 20, has joined on a month's loan and Plymouth's Deane Smalley, 27, will stay for the rest of the season.

They have also signed 24-year-old Frenchman John-Christophe Ayina on a free transfer.

But summer signing Lenell John-Lewis has a ruptured hamstring and could miss the remainder of the Exiles' campaign.

The striker has scored five goals for County this season.

Newport have money available following Conor Washington's transfer from Peterborough United to QPR for an undisclosed fee, with County set to receive almost £1m from a 20% sell-on clause.

Newport manager Warren Feeney said: "I just felt the squad needed adding to. I made that clear after the Blackburn game, with the injuries. I needed to bring competition for places.

Aaron Collins
Aaron Collins, 18, has scored three goals for Newport this season

''I have been on the phone non-stop for the last few days and I am delighted with the three boys who have come in.''

Ayina, who has played in both France and Spain and was most recently released by Rochdale, has signed until the end of the season.

Wilkinson has been at Barnsley on a six-month loan from cash-strapped Bolton, scoring once in 12 appearances.

Smalley has made just one appearance for Plymouth since joining from Oxford United in the summer.

All three will be in contention for Saturday's key home game with fellow strugglers Dagenham and Redbridge, providing international clearance goes through.

Newport currently have six players on loan, but only five are allowed in the match-day squad.

Feeney made it clear he is still looking to add to the squad but also said others could leave.

Teenage striker Aaron Collins is believed to be interesting Championship side Wolves. Newport turned down a bid from Burnley for the 18-year old last summer.

Feeney said: ''You get a bit of interest and their heads suddenly get turned, that is why I say he has to keep his feet on the ground.

"There have been inquires regards him, he is not the only one, but that is one we will assess in the next day or so.''

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