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Born: 20 Sep 1995
Where: Neath, Wales
Joined Wycombe: August 2018 - Free from Stevenage.|
Wycombe debut: Wycombe 2 Forest Green 2 - 28 Aug 2018 - League Cup
First goal: Wycombe 2 Fulham 1 - 18 Sep 2018 - FLT
Contracted until June 2022.
Career summary at Wycombe.
36 appearances - 5 goals
Up to end of 2018/19 season
Wanderers announced on Thursday 23rd August 2018 the signing of striker Alex Samuel on a 'short term deal'. The 22 year old moved to Adams Park on a free transfer having previously played for Stevenage during 2017/18 - making 28 First Team appearances and scoring on 4 occasions. The Welsh born player originally played football in his home country for Aberystwyth Town and then Swansea City but had also had loan spells with Greenock Morton (in Scotland) and then back in Wales for Newport County. He has also represented the Welsh U18 side during the 2011/12 season. He made his debut in a 2–1 win over Republic of Ireland in February 2012, scoring the winning goal. He was allocated the No.25 in the Wanderers squad and signed a deal until 20th January 2019.
His time at Newport County came after he had played three times for Swansea City's U23 side in the Football League Trophy during the early stages of the 2016/17 season - scoring against County in one of those ties. In January 2017 he moved to then 'League Two' County on a loan deal until the end of the season. He impressed during his time there, not only helping them to avoid relegation from the Football League with five wins in the final seven games but also winning The Exiles 'Player of the Season' award despite only being with the club for half the season.
In May 2017 he signed a two year deal with 'League Two' Stevenage but struggled to command a First Team place during a season interupted with injury. However, it was during a 0-0 draw with Wanderers in December 2017 that Samuel caught the eye of Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth. Samuel had been substituted around the hour mark and the in the post match interview Ainsworth commented: "I was glad Alex Samuel went off as he was a thorn in our side but once they took him off they lost their threat."
Having been released by Stevenage at the end of the 2018/19 season, Ainsworth took the chance to give Samuel an opportunity at Adams Park, commenting: "Alex is a player who we believe can offer a different option going forward and will fit nicely into the way we do things, so I’m looking forward to seeing how we can help develop his game over the coming months. He gets stuck in, he can make things happen and he’s already got a good number of EFL games under his belt at his former clubs which will stand him in good stead, and I’m confident he’ll work hard to make sure he’s got a bright career ahead of him."
The Wycombe boss also recalled the December 2017 meeting with Stevenage: "He was fantastic against us at Stevenage. I watched him when he was at Swansea and Newport and he is very much in the Mackail-Smith mould. He runs and works and never stops running and never stops harrying for the team and ironically looks like Mackail-Smith as well. Alex caught the eye in a game. It is a short-term deal because he has to prove himself and he has had a bad injury recently which he had some trouble with Stevenage. He has now closed the door on that period but he definitely has an open door here to come and impress and if I can see what he showed against us a couple of times and what I have seen in the past from him, he will be a good acquisition. There is plenty to work on with him but it is nice to be able to bring one in to work on and improve and we have a good record of doing that and I hope that Alex is the next one."
He impressed during his opening months with the Wanderers and on 16th November 2018 it was announced that he had signed a new deal running until June 2021. Ainsworth commented: "“Alex was a player who we’d seen play a few times before coming here and he fitted the bill perfectly in terms of his ability but also his hard work ethic and character around the place. He’s the type of player that fans love to see – he never stops working, he’s direct, he loves a battle and he plays with a smile on his face." The Wycombe Manager added: "He’d had a serious injury prior to signing for us so he’s had to be patient for his opportunity while he builds up his match sharpness, but he’s grabbed that chance with both hands and fully deserves his new contract. I believe he’ll only get better and we’re all excited to see what he can achieve over the next two and a half years and beyond."
On 5th September 2019 the Club announced that his contract had been extended for a further year until June 2022. Commenting on the news, Gareth Ainsworth said: "Alex is a very important part of what we do and continues to develop his game week in, week out with the work he does on the training ground and in matches, so it’s great news that we’ve been able to tie him down for an extra year. He’s a perfect fit for Wycombe Wanderers with the way he performs on the pitch, and carries himself as an outstanding professional and popular character off it. This time last year he was still finding his feet again after a serious injury which ended his time at Stevenage in League 2, but he’s now an established part of our squad in League 1 and he’s deserved it because he’s grabbed his opportunity with both hands."
References and further reading:
Samuel extends deal - official website - 5 September 2019
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