BY RICHARD CAWLEY
AFC Wimbledon manager Wally Downes has got a new number one – and says Nathan Trott was his first-choice loan signing.
We exclusively revealed at the start of this month that the Dons wanted the West Ham United goalkeeper.
And Trott sealed his move to the League One side on Monday.
Downes knew that a return for Aaron Ramsdale was a non-starter after the AFC Bournemouth man shone for the Dons in the second half of the last campaign.
“He [Trott] was top of the list,” said the Wimbledon chief. “Ramsdale was never going to happen again – so four or five others got put to us.
“He can be looked upon as a gamble because it is his first loan, but everyone needs to start somewhere. His talent and ability is not in question.
“It is just a question of us giving him experience, watching him grow and improving him.
“If you look at our track record with goalkeepers, it was good even before I got here. Ashley Bayes has done a great job with the ones he has had here – they have gone on to move to bigger clubs with the lad who was at Sheffield United [George Long] and the one who went to Hull [Will Mannion]. I certainly appreciate what Ashley does.
“If Nathan isn’t the finished article at the moment then the work we put in here will certainly push him towards where we want him to be.”
The back-up for Trott will be Nik Tzanev. The Kiwi had a loan at Potters Bar last season. Including a temporary switch to Lewes he has notched up 21 first-team appearances – but none at his parent club.
“Ideally I’d have liked him to have played a bit more,” said Downes. “He went to Potters Bar and loved it. Ideally he’d be out on loan again but that would leave us a bit short.
“If there is some facility in the budget to perhaps do a deal and get a goalkeeper, who perhaps might just travel then we could get Nik some more first-team action quickly. That would be good – because he has potential.
“He needs a few more games before he is ready to be a number one.
“We have got two good young goalkeepers and Ashley has got a proven record, so I’m more than confident in either of them.”