Dons win race for George

Wed 26 Jun 2013
Author: Chris Slavin

Midfielder's return makes it six signings for Neal

The Dons have today beaten off competition from two League 1 clubs to bring George Francomb back to AFC Wimbledon.

Neal Ardley has described the 21-year-old’s Wimbledon return as “a great signing” with other clubs having chased his signature since George left Premier League Norwich.

Having made such a big impression on Neal and supporters during a three-month loan spell at Wimbledon earlier this season, the Wimbledon manager made George’s signature a priority once 2012/13 ended.

And Neal believes that he can develop George into an even better player as a permanent signing at AFC Wimbledon.

“We were very sorry to lose George when he went back to Norwich because he was probably the highlight for us in a struggling team at the time,” Neal told Dons Player. “I really enjoyed working with him then because you could see the quality that he had. As soon as I knew that the player would be leaving Norwich I threw my hat into the ring. I spoke to his agent in early May because I knew that I would have to do a bit of work to get him. I had to try and put the budget in place so that we could make an offer that could bring George back here.

“I am delighted that George has joined and he is a great signing for the club. We have spoken at length about where he should play and his role in the team. I see him playing in a more advanced midfield role, which I know he prefers to play. We want to develop George's game in the final third because he has a great right foot and great delivery. Hopefully he can make more assists and chip in with more goals. George said he loved playing here for the Wimbledon fans and he knows what to do so that he can develop as a player in the next few years.”

George played five times for Norwich City and he enjoyed loan spells at Barnet and Hibernian before making 16 appearances for Wimbledon in 2012/13.

Speaking to Rob Cornell on Dons Player, George said: “I did have a couple of League 1 clubs interested in signing me, but I wanted to come here. If I did not believe that Wimbledon had ambition then I would not have returned. Hopefully I can hit the ground running and we can be challenging at the other end of the table. I am delighted to have signed here and I cannot wait to get started. When I was here before the fans were fantastic to me and fantastic for the team when we were going through a rough patch. I have had a lot of messages on Twitter about potentially coming back and I am glad that I have now put pen to paper.”

Dons Player subscribers can now watch a video interview with Neal Ardley on making his sixth summer signing and the thoughts of George will be on our premium site later.

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