AFC Wimbledon have signed Tennai Watson on loan from Reading for the season as confirmed by the club website.

Because Wimbledon don’t have the largest budget in the world, they always need to sign some players on loan from teams higher up the league ladder to supplement their squad. This is not necessarily a bad thing though. Some of these players can end up being very talented youngsters and can bring a different energy to a team desperate to do better than the year that came before.

And so the Dons have snapped up a young player on loan with Watson signing for the season. He has come through the Reading academy and is highly rated in Berkshire. But he needs first team experience if he wants to break through into the first team of the Sky Bet Championship side and competing with Toby Sibbick for that right-back spot make for an interesting challenge for him.

Following the signing, Wimbledon head coach Neal Ardley said: “Tennai is very athletic, very quick, and a good one versus one defender,”

“He loves to get forward and make things happen and he fits the criteria of everything that we want. He is a great lad with a fantastic attitude, that has come from everybody we’ve spoken to. Tennai is a good size and he is a powerful athlete. We have to get him up to speed because he had a tough time last season, but he is fit and well, he played 45 minutes the other day for Reading Under-23s against Bath.”

“We are quite excited now that we have Tennai and Toby for the right-back position. We feel that we’ve got two young, athletic, right-backs now. They will be vying for a position in the team that we are trying to put together. Tennai had an injury last season and he suffered a burst appendix as well, but he got himself back fit at the end of the season. He needs to get games under his belt and we are delighted that he is going to do it with us.”

“One or two signings we make will probably still end up being the age of James Hanson at 30 and we may have the odd 28 or 29-year-old signing, just to balance it off. With people like Mitch Pinnock at 23, a young right-back, and maybe a centre-back as well, we are looking at bringing in that youth and athleticism to create a team that has a bit more balance. Hopefully, we can reduce the average age throughout the squad. It will all hopefully fit the profile of how we want to tackle the season.”

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