AFC WimbledonSport

Dons ‘reluctantly accepted’ Wrexham deal for key striker Ollie Palmer

Ollie Palmer has signed for Wrexham after AFC Wimbledon “reluctantly accepted” a £300,000 offer for the striker.

The 30-year-old had scored 13 goals in 52 matches.

National League Wrexham are owned by Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. Palmer has signed a deal until the summer of 2025.

“Wrexham offered a substantial fee for Ollie – and also made him an irresistible personal offer,” said Dons chief executive Joe Palmer.

“In the end, though, it was entirely Ollie’s decision to leave. We couldn’t have offered him anywhere near what he was being offered and the last thing we wanted to do was force him to stay against his will. That wouldn’t have been in anyone’s best interests.

“The football panel are working through potential targets at the moment and we will look to provide Robbo with another option as soon as we can.”

Wimbledon picked up Palmer on a free transfer in the summer of 2020 after his Crawley Town contract had ended.

He scored on his last appearance for the South London club, opening the scoring in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Burton Albion.

Ollie Palmer celebrates his goal against Burton Albion Picture: Lucy Dixon

“As a coach, seeing a 30-year-old grow and develop as a player and a person was hugely satisfying,” said Dons head coach Mark Robinson.

“I am obviously really disappointed Ollie has gone, but I can only wish him the very best as he bought into everything we did and had a big impact for us.”

Palmer told Wrexham’s official website: “I’m excited. It’s a brand new opportunity for me and something I really wanted to be involved with so I’m looking forward to it.

“I had a good conversation with the gaffer here, and he really sold it to me. The passion around the town for the football club; it’s obviously one of the oldest football clubs around and it’s just about getting them back to where they want to be.

“We have some really famous co-chairmen, and they have already done some amazing things with the football club. It’s just a really good opportunity for me – something to get my teeth into, something new.

“Phil Parkinson explained everything to me, and it was something that got me really excited.”

Parkinson, who had a spell managing Charlton, said: “I’m absolutely delighted. Ollie was a player we wanted right from the offset.

“These things take time, and they can be difficult, but credit to Rob and Ryan for sanctioning the deal and to everyone else involved in getting the deal over the line, because when you’re attracting a player from a higher league, the deals are never easy. I’m absolutely delighted we’ve finalised the signing.

“He gives us presence, but he’s also got quality and that was important for us – we want good footballers. He’s got good technical ability, he’s a good character and he’ll be an excellent addition to the squad.”

PICTURE: KEITH GILLARD

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