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Mariners swoop for striker John Sutton

A-League leaders Central Coast have strengthened their title charge by agreeing to the loan signing of striker John Sutton from Scottish Premier League side Hearts.

Mariners coach Graham Arnold said on Thursday the 28-year-old Englishman would arrive in Gosford in the coming days on a four-month deal.

Sutton, the younger brother of former England striker Chris Sutton, was allowed to leave Hearts due to their financial worries but the club was reluctant to loan him to a fellow SPL club.

Arnold said the 188cm former Millwall and Motherwell striker was recommended to him by ex-Socceroos and Rangers defender Craig Moore and he would help offset the recent loss of Matt Simon to Korean club Chunnam Dragons.

Arnold said there was an option for Sutton to stay beyond the loan term while the striker could also use his stint to showcase himself for other clubs.

"The exposure of giving him the opportunity to play in the A-League and also the ACL was very appealing to him," Arnold said on Thursday.

"He comes with a very good pedigree in Scotland and he is a similar player to Matty Simon, someone that can make us play different if we need to play different.

"He comes out with a record of a goal every two-and-a-half to three games in Scotland and we're looking forward to John coming out and adding not only another set of legs but quite a deal of experience for our front line."

Sutton has been something of a journeyman since beginning his football career as a youth trainee with Tottenham but enjoyed fruitful stints with St Mirren and Motherwell.

His most recent stint has been stop-start, scoring three goals in 18 outings for Hearts.

Pending travel arrangements and paperwork, Sutton could make his debut for the Mariners in next week's clash away with Melbourne Victory.

Meanwhile, Arnold said midfielder recruit Stuart Musialik was nearing a return to full fitness after an injury-plagued start to his time with the club.

The former Newcastle and Sydney FC player is yet to make his debut for the Mariners.

"He much stronger, much fitter and doing exceptionally well on the training field and I think it's only a matter of time you see Stuart on the park," Arnold said.

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