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MK Dons sign Tennai Watson

Defender becomes signing number eight...

28 July 2021

Milton Keynes Dons are delighted to announce the signing of defender Tennai Watson on a free transfer.

Watson, 24, has been training with the Dons throughout pre-season, following his departure from Reading in June.

The full-back has made 48 career appearances to date, including 13 for the Royals with whom he began his career.

He becomes the Club’s eighth new signing of the transfer window, along with Scott Twine, Franco Ravizzoli, Josh Martin, Ethan Robson, Max Watters, Aden Baldwin and Mo Eisa.

“I’m buzzing to be here,” Watson told iFollow MK Dons in his first interview with the Club. “I’ve been training here for a while and I’ve loved it so when I heard there was a chance to get a deal, I was eager to get it done.

“Coming in to a new club can be daunting but I’ve never felt that - you can tell the boys are so together. I’ve really loved it and it’s given me a chance to express myself as a player.

“I felt like this style fits me as there is a licence for me to get forward, which I love to do. You can’t neglect defending though – I’m not scared of a tackle!

“I’m buzzing to get going. The momentum we’ve built over the past few weeks, it all seems to be coming together.”

Born in London, Watson began his career with Reading, progressing through their Academy ranks before signing professional terms in summer 2016.

The defender was handed his professional debut on the opening day of the 2016/17 Sky Bet Championship season, used as a substitute in Reading’s 1-0 victory over Preston North End. He went on to make 11 appearances that campaign.

In July 2018, Watson spent time on loan with AFC Wimbledon with whom he made 28 appearances, with all-but four coming in Sky Bet League One. The following season he joined Coventry City on loan and played seven times for the Sky Blues.

Watson returned to Berkshire last term and featured twice before ending his stay with the Royals in June following the expiry of his contract.

Manager Russell Martin said: “His availability was brought to our attention by Zak Jules, who was a teammate of his, but he was a player we were aware of.

“He came in to train with us and has really impressed. First and foremost, the way he conducts himself, on and off the pitch, is brilliant – he is real example to others. It’s also his attention to detail, his intensity and the way he has improved during the time he’s been with us.

“He is a resilient young man who, despite his young age, has had to deal with plenty already in his career. We are excited to have him on board and are looking forward to seeing how much further he can develop and improve.”

Sporting Director Liam Sweeting added: “When players come in on trial to prove themselves, they have already showed some of the qualities we look for in terms of character and their determination.

"Tennai has since applied himself brilliantly and taken on the information quickly, culminating in the performances we have seen so far.

“He is naturally athletic and technically very capable to suit our requirements at wing back, and I look forward to watching him develop further this season within this exciting style of play.”

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