Johnnie Jackson has explained why AFC Wimbledon have signed Courtney Senior on a short-term deal until the January transfer window and has challenged the Croydon-born winger to earn a longer deal with the Dons.
The 25-year-old made 145 appearances and scored 14 goals for Colchester United in all competitions during his five seasons with the club.
Jackson’s attacking options were hindered by the long-term loss of Brentford loanee Nathan Young-Coombes, who picked up a knee injury in the 2-0 defeat at home to Northampton and is not expected back to full fitness for another two to three months.
“He looked really bright and exciting in training – he was sharp,” Jackson told the South London Press, in terms of what Senior showed during his week of training to convince the Dons boss to hand him a short-term deal.
“He brings us that something slightly different that we haven’t got. He’s someone capable of carrying the ball up the pitch – he’s a dribbler.
“We have Ayoub, who also likes to do that, but not many others.
“With Paul Osew being out injured as well, we haven’t got too many guys who can play as wingers.
“He gives us that option now where if we do look at playing wingers, we can do that. He gives us an option in the games, too, if we need to change the dynamic of the game, as he is a player who can stretch it and cause opposition defences problems.
“I just felt that with the make-up of our squad and the injuries we have, he was something different – something we have been missing. He can help us.”
Senior signed for Newport County at the start of the 2021-22 season on a one-year deal but suffered a cruciate ligament injury which stopped him from making a competitive appearance for the Exiles.
He had been without a club following his release from the Welsh side in the summer.
“The lad looks fit,” added Jackson, who named Senior on the bench during the 2-1 win against Colchester United last weekend.
“At the moment, it’s only a short-term deal, so the club hasn’t left itself exposed in that regard.
“We did our homework and spoke with Newport. He has rehabbed really well from those injuries, and there is no reason to think that he’s not over them.
“It gave us the confidence to make that signing. Hopefully, it’s all behind him, and he can kick on and try to get himself in the team and a longer-term deal. It’s over to him now.”