Tucker was Dons’ contingency plan prior to Darling’s departure

“We showed it last summer with Twiney coming in for Scott Fraser, and we showed it again in January.”

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 5:54 pm
<p>Jack Tucker was brought in from Gillingham ahead of time to cover against Harry Darling’s move to Swansea City, Liam Manning confirmed</p>

Jack Tucker was brought in from Gillingham ahead of time to cover against Harry Darling’s move to Swansea City, Liam Manning confirmed

The signing of Jack Tucker was a pre-emptive move to cover the departure of Harry Darling.

Darling, who spent 18 months at Stadium MK, left Dons on Saturday night for Swansea City, who parted with more than £1 million for the centre back to reunite with former boss Russell Martin.

But 24-hours earlier, Dons confirmed the signing of Tucker from Gillingham – a 22-year-old ball-playing defender in a similar mould to Darling, a highly sought-after player in his own right and one Dons had been chasing since January.

Liam Manning said, much like the acquisition of Scott Twine last summer and indeed Darling’s signing following the departure of Richard Keogh in January 2021, the pre-emptive signing of Tucker is an important sign of their transfer policy working.

“As everyone knows, this is what this club is about,” he said. “We showed it last summer with Twiney coming in for Scott Fraser, and we showed it again in January.

“Harry goes with our best wishes and I’m sure he’ll continue to go on an upward trajectory.

“I cannot speak highly enough of him firstly as a person and as a player. He had a tremendous season with us.

“Jack is a really good addition and one we really wanted to get over the line in January. When the season ended and we knew where we were at and the likelihood of Harry leaving, it made it a no-brainer.

“He’s got terrific qualities, his age, his profile and the number of games he’s played. Coming in, I think he can show he’s even better than he was at Gillingham because of our style.

“And he’s a terrific character, which is important to us when we recruit.”