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Dapo: It was the ‘perfect’ option to sign for the Dons

Watford forward sums up why he joined us

4 August 2021

Dapo Mebude talked passionately about why AFC Wimbledon is the best move for him at this stage of his career after signing a loan deal here.

Though it’s been a hectic summer for the 20-year-old after making the move back down south, Dapo decided that switching from Watford to Wimbledon on loan would push forward his development as he aims to deliver on the vast potential he’s shown as a teenager.

Below is our full Q&A with Dapo after he signed on the dotted line for Wimbledon.

Q: A big Wimbledon welcome to new signing Dapo Mebude. What has it been like meeting Robbo and the players?

A: First of all, thanks for welcoming me to the club. I’ve met everyone today, and they’ve all been very friendly. It has been good.

Q: We’ve heard that you are a player with real pace, but what are your key attributes?

A: People like to say I’m quick, and I would agree with that! I like to create chances, to score goals, assist my team-mates, and dribble one versus one. I like to excite the fans and win.”

Q: You only recently signed for Watford, so why have you made this loan move?

A: I signed for Watford last month and I did pre-season there, which was really good. I spent time with players that are in the Premier League now. I got a lot of minutes in pre-season, and it was challenging and good. I spoke with the Manager, the Sporting Director, and my agent. We all agreed that getting games at this stage of my career is crucial – playing week in and week out. I will leave whatever happens to the future, but I will take care of the here and now, so I’m coming here to play, to prove what I can do and give my all for the club.

Q: When you left Rangers was there a lot of interest in you?

A: I could have stayed with Rangers, but I made the decision to leave. There were a lot of meetings with clubs here and there. It was a stressful time narrowing it down, and working out the right club for me. It was a long process, but thankfully we spoke with Watford and we really liked what they said, so that was the destination for me.

Q: In terms of joining Wimbledon, why did you decide that this was your best option?

A: When I was playing at Watford, I had scouts from a couple of other League One clubs watching me. When I spoke with my agent he said that the gaffer at Wimbledon wanted to have a Zoom meeting with me. He showed me the club, how the team likes to play, and it felt perfect: the style of play, how interested he was in me, and it was sold to me instantly. After that it wasn’t a hard decision to come here. I just want to repay his faith in me and show the club and the fans what I can do.

Q: We have a club history that really stands out with six promotions in 14 years after the club had to start again from scratch. What do you know about the Wimbledon story?

A: The manager told me a bit about the history, and how much of a fans based club it is. It’s like one big family. Of course, the history is really rich, and I just want to be a bit of creating more history. Let’s try to do that together.

Q: What are your ambitions for next season?

A: I just want to do the best that I can – to get goals and assists so that we win games. As much as I want to develop myself, I also want to be a part of something that I will remember for a long time. I want to win as much as I can here, and hopefully push us higher up the table.

Q: You are originally from London, so what’s it been like moving back down south?

A: I was born in Peckham, and I left England when I was 10 or 11 years of age. Coming back to where I’m from has been good, but I came down to do a job. I’m not focused on the outside stuff, and I’m focused on doing my job every day.

Q: You chose Scotland over England! What has international football been like for you?

A: Scotland showed a lot of faith in me, so I’ve played youth international football for four years now. I can only thank the people involved at Scotland youth level because they’ve played a big part in where I am today. A lot of people have played a part in my development, and all I want to do is repay that faith in me.

Q: How did you get spotted by Rangers?

A: My big brother was playing Sunday League, and so I wanted to be like him. I ended up playing as well, but then I moved up to Scotland with my family. When I moved up there they had brochures in school about a Rangers soccer camp. I went to one of those in the school holidays, and thankfully I got spotted. I was asked to come and train with the academy, and it took off from there.

Q: Has it always been just football for you?

A: Yes. Since I was young it is all I’ve ever known. It has just been football, football, football!

Q: Who are your role models at the top of the game?

A: I have a few. I loved Ronaldo from Brazil, and I like Sterling now, so I would say they are the two that I look up to.

Q: When you go down the training ground and see all the messages that Robbo has put up, it’s clear that it all starts with hard work. Will you be aiming to share that mentality straight away?

A: I try to be aggressive and on the front foot. You have to be aggressive if you play in Scotland, so I think my grounding up there has set me up well for this. You need to work hard – that is the fundamentals of the game – and if you do that everything will take care of itself in my opinion.

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