Southend Sign Lee Barnard
Ahead of the game today against Hull City in the fourth round of the FA Cup, Southend announced that they had re-signed striker Lee Barnard from Southampton.
The deal is initially a loan spell which will last until the end of the season, and it is with a view to a permanent deal being struck in the summer if all works out well.
During his first spell with the club which lasted two years, Barnard played in 75 league matches and scored 37 goals which attracted the attention of Southampton, where he made 62 league appearances, scoring 23 times.
The 29 year old did join us in time to play a part in today's game, but he wasn't selected by manager Phil Brown. A deal could've been completed last window, but the striker picked up a knock and both clubs agreed to put it on hold until this month where all parties revisited it.
Speaking to the Official Site as the signing was announced, Brown said.
'It's great news that we've managed to bring Lee to the club, I'm sure he can make a good impression. He obviously did well for the club when he was here originally, and hopefully he can have more success in front of goal as he did then.'
Barnard himself joked about the timing of the deal, pointing out that his first spell at the club began on January 25th all those years ago, and now he's rejoined us a day earlier this time round.
'I've come home to the club where I had a fantastic two years. I really enjoyed my time here and I'm just hoping for more of the same this time around, with just as many goals.'
Part of the reason for not playing today was no doubt his match sharpness and the gaffer would've wanted him to get a few sessions under his belt first, but I doubt it'll be too long before we see him in the shirt again.