AFC Wimbledon Miss Out On Championship Transfer Target

Harrogate Town have signed midfielder Stephen Duke-McKenna following the expiration of his contract with Queens Park Rangers according to the club’s official website.

Joining the Sulphurites on a two-year contract, Duke-McKenna already has experience playing in the fourth tier through a loan spell with Sutton United during the second half of last season. He’d rack up two goals and two assists in 16 appearances for the relegated U’s and hinted at sparks of potential.

Only six of those appearances would be starts and the versatile midfielder would struggle to hold down a spot in the starting eleven during his time in South London. He was however utilised in a number of different positions which potentially didn’t help his progress but if given a consistent role at his new club, then he may well thrive.

The Guyanan international would in fact make five Championship appearances for QPR during the first half of last season, though those were all prior to the arrival of Marti Cifuentes. He would end up falling out of favour at the London outfit, leading to his release this summer.

Nonetheless, in the right system at Harrogate, there could be a fair bit of improvement on the cards for the midfielder. It is also worth noting that he is still just 23 and hasn’t exactly been given loads of opportunities in the senior game, so still retains potential.

Simon Weaver’s side were not the only ones retaining some sort of interest in the former QPR man, with the South London Press reporting in late May that AFC Wimbledon had been in contact with the midfielder.

A move to the Dons would’ve made a lot of sense from a geographical standpoint, however the contact that was made between the club and the player could only have been minimal and they’ve now missed out on the midfielder.

Duke-McKenna will line up against AFC Wimbledon next term when they meet with Harrogate in the fourth tier.

Writer’s View

Although he didn’t exactly set the world alight during his loan spell with Sutton United, there were sparks of quality from Duke-McKenna. Although his versatility is a rather large part of his game, perhaps utilising him in one position may be what gets the best out of him and Harrogate could have got a good deal.

After the initial report that Wimbledon had checked in on the midfielder, there was no further mention of a move so it is expected that they had a very minimal interest. He could’ve been a useful rotational asset at Plough Lane but is sure to get more opportunities at Harrogate, who will once again be looking to progress further up the table in the fourth tier.

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