We are delighted to announce that we have agreed terms with Millwall for the transfer of striker Isaac Olaofe, who will officially join the Club for an undisclosed fee when the transfer window opens on January 1st, subject to EFL and FA approval.
Isaac, or Tanto as he is commonly referred to, has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal at Edgeley Park, becoming our first signing of the January transfer window.
Having come through the academy ranks at The Den, the 23-year-old has spent the last two full seasons out on loan at Sutton United – quicky becoming a crucial part of the side that secured promotion to the Football League for the first time in the Club’s history.
Despite often being played out wide in his first full season at Gander Green Lane, the pacy frontman finished as Sutton’s top scorer as they beat County and Torquay to the 2020/21 National League title, scoring 16 times in the league and being named as the Club’s Young Player of the Year.
He returned to the U’s the following season for their first year in League Two, scoring a further nine times in all competitions as Matt Grey’s side finished 8th, just outside the play-off places, and reached the final of the Papa John’s Trophy at Wembley.
Having returned to Millwall over the Summer, Tanto was subject to interest from a number of Clubs in League Two and League One, but ultimately opted to remain at The Den. He was rewarded with his first-team debut for Gary Rowett’s side in August, starting their Carabao Cup tie against Cambridge United, and has since made a further two substitute appearances in the Championship, against Sheffield United and Coventry City.
Interest in the forward remained high going into January, with County moving quickly to secure his signature ahead of the window opening to further bolster our forward ranks as we enter the second half of the season.
Tanto will not be eligible for our trip to Grimsby on New Year’s Day, as Clubs are unable to register new signings in time for that round of fixtures. He will, however, join up with the first-team squad and first be available for our FA Cup Third Round tie against Walsall on Sunday 8th January. Tickets for that game are currently available online and can be purchased here.
First-Team Manager, Dave Challinor, said:
“I’ve tracked Isaac for some time and to finally get a deal done to be able to work with him is really pleasing. I must thank Mark and the board for allowing us to invest in not just the present, but the future as well.
“It’s third time lucky I suppose, I’ve tried to take Isaac to Hartlepool but that unfortunately didn’t happen. We then spoke prior to the August transfer window shutting but he felt he needed to go and prove himself in League 1 having done well at Sutton in League 2, which I totally understood, had a really good conversation with him and we wished each other well.
“Finally, this time we’ve got our man. I hope and believe the saying that good things come to those who wait will be very fruitful in this instance and I’m delighted he’s agreed to come and join us. In terms of a player, he absolutely fits the profile we’ve been after; he’s young, hungry, has power and pace and wants to stretch the game and run in behind. Out of possession he’ll press really hard from the front so will fit into our style and philosophy hopefully very easily and importantly, his goal involvement in creating and scoring is very good.
“It’s important now that we get him integrated into the group as quickly as possible and get a clear understanding of what we need from him on both sides of the ball and get him out there to experience what this Club is about. As mentioned, he was at the game on Boxing Day, so has felt the atmosphere inside Edgeley Park from the stands and very soon he’ll get to feel that from on the pitch.
“I’m sure everyone will make him feel very welcome and from the times I’ve spoken with him he seems a very level-headed, humble young man who I think will be a real success with us. Welcome to the Club, Tanto.”
Director of Football, Simon Wilson, said:
“This signing – a target player made at the start of the window – is a good example of the collective parts of the Club working really well together. From the squad planning, the finance and contracting, the player care and relocation planning, it has been done very collaboratively and efficiently, so the first thing I want to say is a massive thank you to everyone here for their excellent work.
“Secondly, it was well known that Isaac has attended our last two games, and it is here that this Club sells itself….who wouldn’t want to play in front of our supporters? Every now and then you get a reminder of what an exciting place this is to be part of and what is being built.
“Tanto will be a great addition to the squad of players we have here, add something different to what we have and further develop the attacking threat we have. He comes with the highest regard from all those that have played and worked with him, and we are confident that he will fit in really well with our group.
Watch Tanto’s first interview with the Club here: