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Signing: Aden Baldwin

Williams calls on highly-rated defender

21 June 2022

We have agreed terms with MK Dons centre-back Aden Baldwin, who will join us on a two-year deal on 1 July.

The 25-year-old is highly rated by Luke Williams, who worked with Baldwin during his time leading Bristol City’s Under 23s and later influenced his move to Stadium MK.

And our new head coach is delighted to add him to his squad.

“Aden is going to fit into what Ryan and I are trying to build really quickly and he’s going to be an asset to the club,” said Williams.

“In an ideal scenario, we’re going to be on the front foot and having huge territory in games next season which means there will be space behind us. Aden’s pace and excellent defensive instincts will be crucial.

“On top of that, he can happily take the ball anywhere on the pitch – he wouldn’t look out of place in the opposition’s 18-yard box – and he can take a fantastic dead-ball.

“He has lots of qualities and just needs a platform to show them. We think this is the place for him to do that.”

Williams made Baldwin his Under 23s captain at Bristol City and, reflecting on that time, the head coach said: “Aden was treated like a senior player within that young group to give him the experience of carrying an extra burden on his shoulders.

“I recognised really strong qualities in him and I wanted him to embrace that responsibility – which he has done.

“We worked together again at MK Dons and he was outstanding last pre-season but had Harry Darling who has just made a big move to the Championship, Dean Lewington who is one-of-a-kind and Warren O’Hora who had an incredible season just in front of him, so it’s no disgrace that Aden didn’t play as much as he would have liked.

“He very much held his own in that group and now has a great opportunity to establish himself, play lots of games and perform to a high level.”

On how the move transpired, Williams added: “I put Aden forward as an option but that wasn’t the end of it – he was then analysed by several different people to make sure we were all confident he was a good fit for the club.

“We all agreed that he is exactly the sort of player we’re looking for and then made our approach.”

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Baldwin progressed through Forest Green Rovers’ academy, earning his first professional contract before catching the eye of Bristol City.

An impressive loan spell at National League South side Weston-super-Mare earned him the opportunity to showcase himself in League Two with Cheltenham Town, only for his stay to be curtailed by a knee injury.

Despite being sidelined for four months, City offered Baldwin a new deal and, following a number of appearances as their Under 23s captain, he was loaned out to Eastleigh in the National League.

He departed Ashton Gate at the end of the 2020-21 campaign and signed for MK Dons, with then-manager Russell Martin, who weeks later took Williams with him to Swansea, citing our new boss’ high regard for the defender as one of the reasons for the move.

Baldwin made 16 appearances for the League One outfit and now commences a new chapter with us.

2022-23 season tickets are still available at the early bird price. Click here to get yours.

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