Nicky Maynard (Striker)
11th Dec 1986 (Winsford)Signed:
31st Jan 2012 (£2,500,000)Contract:
2Ĺ years + 1 year optionPrevious Club:
Bristol CityKUMB Awards:
A product of the highly successful Crewe Alexandra youth academy that also spawned former Hammers striker Dean Ashton, Maynard turned pro in 2005 and spent the following three years at Gresty Road where he became an instant crowd favourite, scoring 32 goals from 59 appearances.
In July 2008, Bristol City broke their transfer record to signed Maynard on a four-year contract for £2.25million. The striker immediately repaid their faith by hitting a hat-trick on his debut in a friendly against Royal Antwerp.
After a slow start to his career at Ashton Gate, Maynard soon became one of the Championship's hottest properties. A stunning volley against QPR was voted as the 2009 Football League Goal of the Season and it wasn't long before Premier League clubs began to take note of his goalscoring ability.
With less than a year of his four-year deal at Ashton Gate remaining - and with Maynard showing no signs of extending his contract - Leicester City saw a £4.75million offer rejected by the Robins in August 2011. West Ham, freshly relegated from the Premier League purportedly showed interest although no firm bid was forthcoming.
As the 2012 winter transfer window reached deadline day it was confirmed that City and United had agreed a fee, thought to be worth £2.5million, for the Winsford-born striker. Maynard was confirmed as Sam Allardyce's final capture of the window shortly before the 11pm deadline on 31st January.