Alexander boosts Dons frontline attack, while Harrison is allowed to leave
AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley pulled off a major coup in the final moments of the January transfer window with the loan signing of striker Gary Alexander from League One Crawley Town.
The 33-year-old former Brentford, Leyton Orient and Hull City hitman has scored 153 goals in a career stretching back to 1999.
It is a reunion for Ardley as the pair played together at Millwall, and the Dons boss admitted he had been chasing Alexander’s signature since the transfer window opened.
Ardley told the club’s website: “I know what a good player Gary is. He has had a bit of a lean spell at Crawley, but that has not detracted from his overall play.
“With his goals record and the character I know he is, everything added up to make it the right decision to bring him to Wimbledon.”
Another new arrival at Kingsmeadow is Kevin Sainte-Luce from Cardiff City – the 19-year-old winger’s contract at the Bluebirds was terminated after he was found guilty of assaulting two girls in a nightclub.
The French-born winger was spared jail, but was ordered to pay £1,250 compensation to the two girls, given a 180-hour community service order and handed a 10-week 8pm-6am curfew for the unprovoked attack.
Sainte-Luce made just one senior appearance for Cardiff in August – against Northampton Town in the League Cup - where he picked up a yellow card.
Ardley, who knows Sainte-Luce from his time with the Cardiff Academy, said: “Kevin got in a bit of trouble at Cardiff, but having brought him over from France and coached him for three years, I know what he did was totally out of character.
“While I do not condone what he did, I felt that Kevin deserved a second chance. If he fulfils the football potential I know he has got then he will excite the fans.”
Ardley has also recruited Peter Sweeney, Chris Hussey and Harry Pell. On Pell’s arrival, Ardley said: “He had been recommended to us and we had him watched. The reports back were very good, and we spoke to several managers in Hereford’s league who said he is one of the best.
“And Harry fits the dynamics of what we were looking for in the midfield – we have good players in there who can keep the ball but we wanted someone who had that athleticism to get around and put the foot in, inject some drive and pace. Harry fitted that bill.”
Ardley has also secured the services of Neil Sullivan, Will Antwi and Jonathan Meades until the end of the season, while the futures of Toby Ajala and Paul McCallum will be decided when their loan periods end in mid-February.
Going out the Dons door was Byron Harrison who joined League Two rivals Cheltenham Town for an undisclosed fee.
Harrison, who joined the Dons in the 2012 January transfer window, was enjoying a purple patch in front of goal this season with four goals in four games.
However, a back injury curtailed his appearances and Ardley has decided the move was right for the striker.
Also going out the door are Callum McNaughton, Kieran Djilali and Ryan Hervel.