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Neal swoops for defender

29 September 2015

Cardiff City centre-back joins on loan

Neal Ardley has swooped to sign Cardiff City defender Semi Ajayi on a one-month loan deal – and the 21-year-old is eligible for tonight’s match against Northampton Town.

AFC Wimbledon required international clearance to make Ajayi available for selection and that has today been received ahead of the Northampton game.

Ajayi signed for Cardiff in the summer after two years with Arsenal, where he made the first-team bench as an unused substitute for the Premier League club. Previously, the South London-raised defender had been with Charlton Athletic.

Neal Ardley said: “We tracked Semi Ajayi when he was at Arsenal last season and the season before. We quite liked him, but he was only young then. Despite what happened on Saturday (sending off for Karleigh Osborne), we felt we wanted more competition in this area. We have strong competition everywhere else and we made a decision to go for it.

“I think Ryan Sweeney is going to be a very good player, but we need competition for places. If Ryan comes in I don’t want to rush him in there because of a lack of numbers. If that hinders his development it is not the right thing to do.

“Ryan needs to come in because he is ready to have a run in the team. In my mind at the start of the season that was something I could see happening at the back end of the season. Nothing had changed my mind on that. While I would totally trust Ryan to come in and do a good job for the team, I would not want to force him into the thick of things on a regular basis just yet.”

In his promising career so far, Semi Ajayi has also played international football for Nigeria Under-21s.

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