Adedeji Oshilaja is one of two signings at centre-back
Neal Ardley has moved quickly to bolster his defensive options by bringing in Cardiff City defender Adedeji Oshilaja and extending Jake Goodman’s loan deal.
Adedeji is a 21-year-old defender, who played for Cardiff’s first-team in the Capital One Cup this season, and he has signed on loan until the end of this season, subject to international approval.
Jake, who has enjoyed an impressive spell at Wimbledon since joining at the end of November, has had his loan deal extended for the rest of 2014/15.
Speaking during an interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, Neal Ardley said he had to act fast to bring in defensive reinforcements after he accepted defeat in his attempt to bring back Adam Barrett.
Adedeji is a player Neal has pursued in previous seasons and the Bermondsey-raised defender already has Football League experience during previous loan spells with Newport County and Sheffield Wednesday.
“Adedeji is a player who I’ve worked with before and I actually brought him to Cardiff,” said Neal. “Deji can play in various positions, but he’s a centre-back who brings different qualities. He is lightning quick, very athletic and a good one-on-one defender. I think it’s important to know the players that you are bringing in. When we knew that bringing Adam back would not be straight forward, we looked around and we felt that Deji would be the best option.
“We’ve beaten off other clubs to sign him and I worked really quickly on it when I knew we would not get Adam. I must thank Russell Slade and Scott Young at Cardiff for allowing us to get it done so quickly. Deji has been in training this morning so we’re delighted, but it is subject to international clearance as regards him playing on Saturday.
“We’ve signed Jake too until the end of this season. He has come in and taken to League 2 football like a duck to water. Jake wanted to stay and hopefully he can kick-on and have a really strong second half to the season.”
Neal Ardley added that he did everything to bring Adam Barrett back for a further spell at AFC Wimbledon, but it was just not to be and he thanked the 35-year-old centre-back for his impressive displays in a Dons shirt.
“Gillingham have not got a manager at the moment, but the feedback we got from them last week was that they did not want to loan Adam back and it would have to be a permanent agreement,” added Neal. “We started to pursue that this week, but it became too complicated and long-winded. It also involved waiting until the end of January and we would still not know for certain if we were going to get him.
I spent all day on the phone yesterday trying to get the deal done. “That made it difficult and with so many games in January and players injured we felt we had to go in a different direction. I’ve had a good conversation with Adam and he knows how hard we tried to keep him.
“Adam has been a great professional and he did a fantastic job for us. I would have loved to have had him here longer. When Andy Frampton got injured it was a such a big blow, but Adam has been magnificent."
Dons Player subscribers can watch Neal Ardley's full update soon, and interviews with Adedeji Oshilaja and Jake Goodman will follow later.