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League Two promotion-winner signs for Stags

31 January 2017

Manager Steve Evans has made his first Deadline Day signing with the acquisition of Oxford United winger Alex MacDonald, we are delighted to announce.

The 26-year-old has played 30 times for the U’s this season and becomes Stags’ seventh signing of the January transfer window. 

The Warrington-born winger progressed through the youth ranks at Lancashire club Burnley before turning professional with the Clarets in 2008. 

He made 17 appearances for Burnley over a five-year period as he joined a number of clubs on loan during that same time. 

MacDonald won eight caps for the Scotland under 19 side during the 2008/09 season and scored a fantastic tally of seven goals, including a brace against France when he was handed the captain’s armband. He also went on to win five caps for the under 21s, scoring one goal. 

After spending the first half of the 2009/10 season on loan at Scottish side Falkirk, he returned to Turf Moor. 

He didn’t feature under new manager Brian Laws in the following season, so again moved north of the border to join Inverness Caledonian Thistle where he scored his first professional goal in a 3-0 win over Motherwell. 

The former Scotland under 21 international then had two successful loan spells with Plymouth Argyle where he scored six goals in 35 appearances across the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons. 

Despite expressing a desire to move to the Pilgrims on a permanent basis, MacDonald was sent back out on loan to Burton Albion, with whom he signed permanently after spending the second half of the 2012/13 season with them. 

The winger made over 60 appearances in an 18-month spell at the Pirelli Stadium, including 25 appearances in the Brewers' League Two winning-season, before joining Oxford United on a two-and-a-half year deal in February 2015. 

MacDonald made 40 appearances and scored five goals as the U’s won promotion from League Two in the 2015/16 season. 

The former Burnley man has made 30 appearances in all competitions so far this season as the U’s currently occupy 14th position in Sky Bet League One. 

Manager Steve Evans said: “A big part of the game is not only scoring goals but [also] opening the door for people to score goals and Alex MacDonald has done that very successfully at Burton Albion and has been deployed to do that at Oxford United.

“First and foremost, I never call anyone else’s business because it’s never my job but I was really surprised to be made aware that it was potentially ‘a goer’ that we could get Alex out of Oxford.

“I must thank Michael Appleton [Oxford’s manager] and the people at Oxford for being so professional in the way they have dealt with it.

“I had a couple of meetings with Alex when he had multiple choices of where he was going to apply his future, if indeed he took the option to leave Oxford United. On my first meeting I briefed the chairman that I wasn’t sure what Alex’s thoughts were but I tried to put across to him [Alex] on what we’re trying to achieve at the One Call Stadium. 

“After further meetings and telephone calls if I’m being honest, tongue-in-cheek, I ‘wore him down’.

“He wanted to become a part of it here. He watched our recent performance and has seen us be very good in spells. He has a wonderful challenge to come and go into the team.

“This is a boy who has been very regular for Oxford United this season, including a game that I spent a lot of time watching because I know the opposition very well, when Oxford United went to Rotherham United and beat them in the FA Cup. It has to be said that the boy MacDonald was simply outstanding on the day.”

The transfer is subject to EFL confirmation.

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