AFC Wimbledon have finally completed their first signing of the summer by bringing Jon Meades back to Kingsmeadow.
The Welshman turned down the chance to pen a permanent deal with the Dons two years ago and opted to join Oxford United.
Neal Ardley bagged the youngster, who featured in our list of 10 potential recruits earlier today, on a loan deal from Cardiff shortly after taking the Dons hotseat.
Meades played a pivotal role in securing survival during that dramatic 2012-13 campaign and scooped the club’s young player of the year award and earned him the move to Oxford.
His time at the Us has been blighted by injury though, ultimately leading to his release from the Kassam Stadium this summer, and Ardley is confident he can help the 23-year-old get back on track.
He told the club’s website: “Jon is a very under-rated player and we tried to keep him here, but Oxford lured him with a very good deal.
“That was unfortunate at the time. Sometimes people say you should not go back to a club further down the line, but we proved with George Francomb that a player can come back and be a success.
“He had a terrible time in his first season at Oxford after breaking his ankle and then he ended up not getting a run of games under different managers.
“I think it was a big pull for Jonathan to come back and play for a manager who knows how good he is and believes in him. At this stage of his career he needs to have two big seasons to re-establish himself.”
Meades is capable of playing down the left flank in attacking or defensive roles or in the centre of the park, with Ardley hopeful of moulding him into a future star.
He added: “Jon will naturally want to hold down one position. I have told him it is up to him if he wants to do that, but he can be an outstanding left-back, an outstanding left wing-back if need be, and an outstanding central midfielder.
“He has all the physical and technical attributes to do that. Jon still lacks that little bit of experience, but he is powerful, 6 ft 2 inches tall and can handle the physical side of this league.
“I think by the end of the season we could have a very good player.”
Meade's features on this list of 10 potential freebies we picked out for the Dons prior to his arrival: