Glyn Hodges has boosted his attacking options for season 2020/21 with the arrival of Brighton forward Ryan Longman.
The 19-year-old has signed on a season-long loan deal from the Seagulls after coming to the attention of our management team during a 2-0 win for Brighton Under-23s against us in the EFL Trophy last year. Following a busy spell of transfer activity, Ryan becomes Glyn's seventh summer signing.
Our manager revealed that Ryan would have joined us in January, but an injury scuppered the move during that previous transfer window.
Speaking about the signing, Glyn said: “Ryan looked good in training this morning, he is fit and ready to go. He can play anywhere up front: wide left, right, or down the middle. We see him as a centre forward, but he will help us to change what we want to do at times. He is a mobile runner, strong and athletic, with two good feet, so we are lucky to have him. He will give us good options up front with his pace.
“When we play in the Trophy against Under-23 teams you get to have a good look at the players you are up against. When we faced Brighton Under-23s last season Ryan played very well and we’ve kept tabs on him ever since. We tried to bring him here in January, but he wasn’t fit enough to come, so this is a signing that we pursued all summer. He was always on our list, but his new contract at Brighton had to be sorted out before we could bring him here.”
Epsom-based Ryan, who joined Brighton’s academy at the age of 11 back in September 2012, signed a new contract at Brighton earlier this week after impressing for the Under-23s.
Ryan can’t wait to get going at Wimbledon as he’s determined to show that he can step-up to league football – and to prove he can be a part of Brighton's future.
“Wimbledon is a really good club and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Ryan. “I definitely wanted to play senior football this year and when the opportunity came about I grabbed it. I need to be working hard, putting the graft in, to make sure that I get a place in this team. A big factor in me coming here was the new stadium and it will be good to play in front of a crowd when the time is right.
“I need to show the manager at Brighton that I can play men’s football and I’m ready for the step-up. I think coming to Wimbledon will definitely prove that. My strong points are getting in behind defenders and finishing.”
You can see Ryan Longman's first interview as an AFC Wimbledon player in full below, via the link to our official YouTube channel.