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Wally Downes delivers challenge to Wimbledon’s Premier League loan arrival

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Wally Downes has high hopes for Michael Folivi, the Watford man who has rejoined the Wombles on a season-long loan, as reported by London News Online.

The 21-year-old spent the latter part of last season on loan with Downes’ side as they staged a great escape and has now penned a fresh loan deal with the club. Downes has now challenged the striker to stake a claim for a first-team place.

He admitted he thought the transfer was ‘terrific,’ stating that the form of one of their departing players was the reason Folivi didn’t make more appearances.

“Terrific,” said Downes upon snaring the forward.


“Last year he was unfortunate not to stay in the team when Hanson came back. But needs must – and we needed a bit more experience at the time. He got a couple of crucial goals for us and right to the end he worked hard every day in training.

“He was a big part of what we did last year. He’s got another year or six months of experience with us. We’re expecting him to be nailing down a first-team spot this year.”

The Wombles escaped relegation on the last day of the season after overturning a ten-point deficit, but the former Crazy Gang member admitted he still needed a few new faces before the beginning of the season.

“We’ve still got one or two positions that we might be able to fill (with transfers), but when you see youngsters come on and do well like that (against Brentford and Bristol City), then we’d be happy to give them a chance.”

Wimbledon kick off their campaign with a challenging home fixture against recently-relegated Rotherham United.

The Verdict

Whilst he may be signing from a Premier League team, I have doubts as to how effective Folivi will be for the Wombles.

He wasn’t able to force a run in the side last season and surely that puts a question mark over his ability to do the same this time out? If not, then are Wimbledon actually weaker than they were a few months ago?

I fear for them this season. They’ve flirted with the drop for a couple of years now and I wonder if this might be the season they finally succumb. Having a great spirit and togetherness is one thing, but eventually you need to add quality, not keep taking it away.

Much hinges on their efforts to hold on to Joe Pigott. Lose him and they’re in dire straights.

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