Manager bolsters attacking options
Neal Ardley has today landed one of his key targets by clinching the signing of striker Lyle Taylor from Scunthorpe United.
The 25-year-old has signed for an undisclosed sum and Neal Ardley said after the deal was completed that signing Lyle was a top priority when he put together a list of transfer targets in May.
Speaking shortly after paperwork was completed for the transfer, Neal revealed that he had waited patiently for Lyle to become available and it had taken a lot of work to seal the deal.
It means that the Dons have now brought two new strikers in this summer with Tom Elliott having signed earlier this month.
“I am absolutely delighted because I did not think I would be able to get this one over the line,” Neal told Dons Player. “We needed to do great work behind the scenes, in particular from our Chief Executive Erik Samuelson, who was fantastic, to get this deal done. When I sat down with Simon Bassey in May to discuss what we wanted, both Lyle and Tom Elliott fitted the criteria we were looking for. They were first choices in terms of the strikers we were trying to bring in. There were times when I felt we were not going to get either of them, but we have shown a lot of patience.
“A lot of people in June were asking where all the signings where, but I think it is so important to stick with what you initially want until it is dead in the water. I am excited by what they can both do. When we profiled the categories we wanted to put into the team, we wanted more pace and power up front and these two will tick those boxes.
“Tom is big, strong and powerful, but Lyle is different. He has very good movement and technique and his finishing is very good. Lyle is also 6ft 2 inches, quick, and he wants to play on the shoulders of defenders. He wants to gamble on things and get in behind and that is what we are trying to teach Tom, who has always been a target man. I think they can scare defences and that is what we are looking for.
“I was interested in Lyle as soon as I heard that Scunthorpe might want to let him go because they were bringing in other strikers. I must have watched footage from between 10-12 games and the more I watched the more it convinced me that he was a player I wanted to sign.”
Lyle, who was born in Greenwich, started his career with Millwall and he has subsequently had spells with AFC Bournemouth, Falkirk and Sheffield United, before joining League 1 Scunthorpe last summer. He struck three goals in 12 games for “The Iron”, but for a part of last season Lyle had a second spell with Partick Thistle in the Scottish Premier League.
An extensive interview with Lyle Taylor will feature on Dons Player later on this afternoon, along with Neal Ardley’s full interview.