Fan favorite Jack Currie out?

AFC Wimbledon have begun the summer transfer window on a positive note, offloading players who were not featuring prominently under Johnnie Jackson while also introducing four new signings.

However, with the summer transfer window still in its early stages, there are likely to be additional arrivals and departures at the club in the coming weeks.

In this article, FLW previews potential departures that may be necessary for the club, as well as addressing general squad issues that need resolution before August 30th.

James Tilley decision to be made

As indicated in the headline, this article focuses on previewing issues, and while Tilley doesn’t necessarily fit into that category, he remains a puzzle that AFC Wimbledon must resolve during pre-season and the remainder of the transfer window.

The former Brighton and Hove Albion youngster joined Wimbledon just last summer, but his future at the club could already be in question this summer.

Six months ago, the idea of Tilley leaving would have seemed unlikely, given his impressive form in the early part of the 2023/24 season. However, his significant decline in form and subsequent exclusion from the starting lineup have posed a challenge for the Dons.

Tilley, known as a wide-man, scored seven goals and provided four assists in League Two during the 2022/23 season. Unfortunately, his last goal involvement came in October 2023, and since then, he has struggled to make a noticeable impact when given playing time.

Due to his stronger left foot and preference for playing on the right, Tilley tends to slow down attacks by cutting inside, which can delay crosses—a less desirable trait with AFC Wimbledon’s potent strikers waiting in the box.

If Johnnie Jackson shifts away from his favored 4-4-2 formation during pre-season, potentially leaving Tilley without a guaranteed starting role, it could prompt the Dons to consider moving him on despite his evident quality.

There will likely be a transfer fee involved, and whether this results in a profit for the club, considering his initial undisclosed signing fee, remains to be seen. The question now revolves around whether Tilley will have another opportunity to shine in a Wimbledon shirt or if his time with the club is nearing its end.

Sourcing Huseyin Biler replacement

AFC Wimbledon stadium

Unlike Tilley, Biler presents a pressing issue for AFC Wimbledon that needs to be addressed promptly.

The young right-back emerged in the Dons’ starting lineup during the 2022/23 season, quickly earning favor with fans due to his tenacious and determined performances despite his small stature. Known for his versatility on both feet and rapid pace, Biler proved effective both in attacking and defensive roles down the right-hand side.

However, a series of minor injuries gradually diminished his pace throughout the latter part of the 2022/23 season and into 2023/24. This reduced availability saw manager Johnnie Jackson favoring Isaac Ogundere instead. Biler’s situation worsened with a costly red card during an away fixture against MK Dons, further limiting his appearances.

Despite AFC Wimbledon offering Biler a new contract at the end of the 2023/24 season, opinions among fans were divided, with some hoping for his departure due to concerns over his fitness and attitude, which are crucial factors for a team aiming for promotion.

Now, reports from Turkish media outlet Anadolu indicate that Biler is poised to join Genclerbirligi in Turkey. This impending departure leaves the Dons with the challenge of finding a suitable replacement. Their options may include recruiting a young loanee from a Premier League or Championship club or promoting a player from their own academy into the first team during pre-season.

Temptation to cash-in on Jack Currie

plough lane afc wimbledon

The biggest player issue for AFC Wimbledon, however, seems to revolve around fan favorite Jack Currie.

The left-back made his breakthrough two seasons ago during the pre-season for the 2022/23 campaign. On his full professional debut, he scored an impressive header and helped secure a clean sheet in a 2-0 victory over Gillingham.

Currie maintained his outstanding form throughout that season and continued to shine in the 2023/24 campaign. His dynamic performances established him as one of the top talents in League Two, widely regarded as one of the best left-backs in the league.

The dilemma facing AFC Wimbledon revolves around Jack Currie, who has only one year remaining on his contract following a triggered extension at the end of the 2023/24 season. Given his previous links with clubs like Coventry City and Bristol City, the Dons are aware they could secure a transfer fee for the academy product. However, the key question is how much they should demand.

There’s a possibility the club could opt to sell Currie for less than his market value to ensure they receive a fee for the 22-year-old. Yet, considering his exceptional performances over the past two seasons, his valuation is likely approaching seven figures. This figure may deter some potential suitors from meeting Wimbledon’s asking price, potentially resulting in Currie leaving the club on a free transfer.

Recent history has shown that setting high price tags has sometimes led to talented players departing without compensation. The crux of the issue lies in whether Wimbledon, both fans and staff, are prepared to bid farewell to Currie this summer. Despite his anticipated significant role in Johnnie Jackson’s plans for the upcoming season, it seems probable he will depart, as the allure of cashing in on a player acquired solely through wages may prove too enticing to resist.


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