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Dagenham & Redbridge midfielder Leo Donnellan urges club to keep hold of striker Oliver Hawkins

PUBLISHED: 18:00 18 January 2017

Oliver Hawkins of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Oliver Hawkins of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Daggers forward has been the subject of interest from a trio of Championship clubs

Dagenham & Redbridge midfielder Leo Donnellan has stressed the importance of keeping hold of top scorer Oliver Hawkins if the club are to realise their National League promotion dreams.

Hawkins has struck 16 league goals for Daggers this season to fire them into the title race, but his form has also attracted the interest of several clubs in the Football League.

Last week, it was revealed Swindon Town had an offer turned down, while Ipswich Town, Nottingham Forest and Brighton & Hove Albion were all reported to have enquired about the target man.

Daggers’ hopes of retaining Hawkins have received a boost, though, with Forest sacking manager Philippe Montanier and Ipswich signing striker Kieffer Moore from National League rivals Forest Green Rovers.

The Essex club are also believed to have slapped a £500,000 price tag on Hawkins in an effort to ward off any further bids, and Donnellan knows it is vital Daggers don’t sell their star man.

“It’s very important for the club to keep hold of Oliver, he brings goals and assists and his hold-up play and aerial threat is superb,” said the 18-year-old.

“Oliver has done extremely well this year but whatever happens, he deserves it.”

As for incomings, Daggers have been relatively quiet in the window so far, with Leo’s brother Shaun, 20, currently the only new face after joining on a three-month loan from West Bromwich Albion.

Winger Jake Howells, who played under Daggers boss John Still at Luton Town, is understood to have signed an 18-month deal with the Victoria Road side, though the move is yet to be officially confirmed.

However, the younger of the Donnellan brothers is confident that not too many other additions are needed, noting the squad is already good enough to challenge for the title.

“I think the squad is good and we do have enough at the minute to push for promotion,” added Leo.

“We’re looking to win the league and the squad is good enough to do that, but it’s up to the gaffer.

“If he wants to bring in a couple more players that he thinks will help the squad, then why not?”

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