New signing Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe deserves an opportunity to challenge for a place in Colchester United's first-team squad, according to head coach John McGreal.

The 24-year-old, who scored 34 goals in as many games in Bostik League division north for Maldon and Tiptree this season prior to officially moving to the U's last week, was an unused substitute in their 4-1 home loss against Cheltenham Town, last weekend.

Ogedi-Uzokwe had been training with Colchester prior to joining them on a permanent basis on an 18-month contract, along with his former Jammers team-mate, Ryan Gondoh.

McGreal said: “Junior has scored 34 goals and in any division, that’s a huge stat and he’s still a young man.

“He knows where the goal is and he has to get himself in and around it.

“He has to get himself in and around it and we’re going to get him involved in the training.

“We’ve been dipping him in over the last week or two so now he’ll be in every day, training with the first team and impress.

“The boy has been scoring goals all season.

“There was a lot of interest and to score that amount of goals in any division over six months is no mean feat.

“He’ll have to try and get up to the standard and that’s why we’ve tried to get him into training over the last two weeks, to get him used to the environment and the surroundings.

“He’s trained well and it’s one that we’ll monitor but he deserves an opportunity and we’re willing to do that, because his numbers speak for themselves."

Colchester have also snapped up Gondoh, who will initially be part of Wayne Brown's under-23 squad.

McGreal said: “Ryan is more for the development side but he’s also played first-team football at Barnet, so we know what we’re getting with him.

“He can play in a number of positions and it’s one where we’ll be monitoring him in training."

Meanwhile, young attacker Louis Dunne has been ruled out for at least nine months after rupturing his Anterior Cruciate Ligament and damaging his Meniscus.

Dunne, the son of former U's player, coach and manager Joe Dunne, is expected to undergo surgery in the next few weeks after suffering the injury in training.

Dunne, who emerged through the U's academy, has made five first-team appearances since making his senior debut for the club in March, 2016.