Former Charlton forward provides extra option
Neal Ardley has today bolstered his forward options for season 2014/15 by signing former Charlton Athletic striker Adebayo Azeez.
The 20-year-old’s youthful exuberance will add pace and energy to complement experienced duo Adebayo Akinfenwa and Matt Tubbs, according to Neal Ardley.
Ade impressed Wimbledon’s coaching team while playing for Charlton Under-21s and last season he scored five goals in League 2 during his time on loan with Torquay United and Dagenham.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “He fits the profile we were looking for after bringing in two big strikers. We wanted the third forward to be a young striker who we could develop with different attributes. Ade is very fit, energetic and quick and he’s a good size. He’s also got League 2 experience. Last season he got three goals in 15 games at Dagenham, but sometimes he played wider in a front three.
“We are going to play two strikers whenever we can next season and if we’re going to do that then Ade gives us a great option with his pace. He’s a player who is different to the other two. We have someone who is a very good at holding the ball up and another who is an outstanding finisher. If Ade cannot learn from those two then I’d be very surprised.”
Ade, who is an England U-19 international, joined Charlton at the age of 14 and made one first-team appearance for the Championship club in the FA Cup. He has also had loan spells with Wycombe Wanderers and Leyton Orient.
Having been a team-mate of former Dons loanee Michael Smith in the past, Ade has heard good things about AFC Wimbledon and he couldn’t wait to sign.
Speaking to Rob Cornell on Dons Player, Ade said: “I’m delighted and words cannot express how happy I am to have signed. I want to start the hard graft as soon as possible. I’ve heard good things about Neal Ardley from when Michael Smith was here. He gave me really good feedback about how working with Neal improved him as a player. I saw that for myself when Michael came back to Charlton after his loan at Wimbledon had ended. So when I heard that Wimbledon were interested I had to get down here quickly!”
Dons Player subscribers can now watch a five-minute video interview with Neal Ardley and we will feature Ade’s thoughts on signing later on this afternoon.