Gillingham boss Steve Evans wants John Akinde to play a key role this season, as per a report by Kent Online. 

The striker was placed on the transfer list over the summer but a move away failed to materialise in the end.

Akinde, who is 32-years-old, rejected a move to Bristol Rovers last month and was also linked with Southend United, as reported by Kent Online. 

However, he remains a Gills’ player now and they appear to be throwing him back into their plans.

Read: Ex-Bristol Rovers striker pens new deal with fellow League Two side until 2023

‘We need him fully fit’…

Their boss Evans has said: “We need him fully fit and we need him ready.

“John Akinde is in the door now. We need to do our best to get him fit so he can do his best and then we will see the best of John Akinde.

“We had a management meeting last week and we said we do not want to play against John Akinde, you wouldn’t wish to, our centre backs will tell you that.”

Current situation

Akinde signed for Gillingham in January 2020 and has since scored eight goals in 60 games for the Kent side.

He is in the final 12 months of his contract with the League One outfit.

Read: Player released by Gillingham this summer finds new club 

Career to date

The attacker made his name at Barnet having also had spells in the past at Bristol City, Crawley Town and Portsmouth.

He was prolific for the Bees and bagged 90 goals in 177 games before they sold him to Lincoln City in 2018.

He then carried on his impressive goal scoring exploits for the Imps and fired 18 goals in the 2018/19 season.

Akinde made the move to Gillingham last year and could be given a new lease of life this term.