Dons sign top defensive target Darling from Cambridge

Harry DarlingHarry Darling
Harry Darling
The departure of Richard Keogh sped up the signing of the 21-year-old

Defender Harry Darling was a summer target for MK Dons but they stepped up their pursuit of the Cambridge United defender following the sale of Richard Keogh.

Darling, 21, arrives for an undisclosed fee from the League Two leaders and was top of Russell Martin's shopping list as he sought defensive cover.

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But a move for the defender came six months earlier than Dons had anticipated, with the sale of Richard Keogh to Huddersfield earlier this week prompting Martin and his backroom team to accelerate their pursuit of Darling.

Having already racked up 70-plus appearances in the Football League, Darling has made 20 outings for the U's this term and is a signing which Martin hopes will help his side out immediately.

"It’s a significant deal for the club and it’s an important signing for us, short term and in the long term as well," he said. "We’re delighted to get it over the line.

“Harry is a player we have been keeping tabs on for some time. We’ve watched a lot of him, particularly in the last few months and he’s been our number one target at this position.

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“It’s an important position with the way we want to play and we’ve been able to go and get one of the best central defenders in League Two and one of the best young talents at this level.

“We were looking towards the summer as a time to bring him in but, with Richard leaving, it sped that process up."

Darling said: “As soon as I heard about the move here I wanted to get it done. This is a great club and I’m excited to get going."

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