COLCHESTER United have snapped up midfielder Alex Newby on a two-year deal.

The 26-year-old will be looking to make a positive impact at the JobServe Community Stadium - but who is the U's new signing?

The Gazette looks at Newby's career in more detail and examines some of the qualities he will bring to Wayne Brown's side.

A QUICK glance at the social media comments that followed Alex Newby's announcement that he was leaving Rochdale give an indication that Colchester United have acquired a talented player.

'Unbelievable player', 'All the best for the future Alex! I've no doubt there will be clubs queueing up for you, been a great player for us!' and 'Been my favourite player this season gutted to see you leave'.

Some of the words written by Dale fans, disappointed to see the attacking midfielder leave.

It seems that Rochdale's loss may well be Colchester's gain.

Newby was a regular in Dale's starting line-up last season, playing 39 league and cup matches and spending 2,396 minutes on the pitch.

Watch Alex Newby's highlights from his final season at Rochdale here

In that time, the former Barrow youngster contributed six goals, finishing as the club's second top scorer in League Two behind Jake Beesley, who found the net nine times.

With an average of 1.7, Newby also registered the third highest number of shots per game for Rochdale behind Beesley (2.9) and Tahvon Campbell (2.1).

The former Bolton Wanderers youngster's passing was effective, too.

Providing four assists, his pass success percentage for Rochdale last season was 79.6, behind only Stephen Dooley (87.4) and Abraham Odoh (80.2).


Prior to his move to the Crown Oil Arena, Newby scored 23 goals in 40 appearances for previous club Chorley.

And while those goals admittedly came in the National League divisions, that is still some strike rate from midfield.

Colchester appear to have recruited a skilful player who will make things happen in the final third, if the statistics on are anything to go by.

Newby likes to play short passes and is keen to cut inside, according to the stats website.


Baller - Alex Newby in action for Rochdale Picture: PA

In addition, it states that he does not dive into tackles.

The website also lists Newby's weaknesses as 'aerial duels' and 'defensive contribution'.

Much like so many other attacking players of his kind, it might be that Colchester fans might not see Newby making too much of an impression, in his own territory.

Nevertheless, in signing Newby, the U's have brought in a player who knows League Two well from last season.

At 26, he is arguably yet to reach the peak of his career and is a player who will potentially provide plenty of ammunition for last season's top scorer Freddie Sears to hit the net.

Newby is a relative latecomer to the EFL, having only made his professional debut in September, 2020.

It was telling therefore that in his first interview upon signing for the U's, he should mention how important it was for him to join a club where he felt 'valued and wanted'.

Geographically, too, Newby's move to Colchester represents a diversion for the player who has spent all of his career to date in the North.

It may take him a little time to adapt but if Colchester can play to Newby's strengths, they could well have made an astute summer signing.