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AFC Wimbledon are one of the lowest spending League One sides, having just spent over £200k on transfers in their history. This money was spent on just two players; James Younghusband, and Jason Prior. In 2006-07, a record fee of £180k was set by Chelsea Reserves player James Younghusband as he arrived for the Dons. The young Philipino winger only played two games for Wimbledon before catching the eye of Ryman Premier Division side Staines Town.
Younghusband moved to Staines for a club-record sale fee this time of £360k which was double what they paid him. It is unclear as to why Younghusband did not stay at Dons for the whole seasons, especially after splashing out record money on the winger, nonetheless, he holds the dual-title for being the Dons record signing and departure.
The closest Wimbledon came to breaking Younghusband’s transfer arrival fee was in 2012 when James Prior joined from Bognor Regis Town for just £77k, making him the second-highest record transfer and only the second player in club history that had been bought for a fee. Prior made his debut by coming off the bench for the Dons on 28 January 2012, though his appearance was cut short by a knee injury which ruled him out for two months.
In just his second match back for the Dons in April, Prior was unfortunately stretchered off just after six minutes of play after a wild lunge by Hope Akpan. Prior had broken his leg, and both his tibia and fibula which would prevent him from playing for almost a year; therefore, the Dons made the sad decision to release Prior from his contract in May 2013 after an unforeseen spell.
As for record transfer sales, only six players have been sold by the Dons for a fee, and they all followed on from Younghusband’s record departure in 2006. Ryan Sweeney amazingly received a dream transfer to Premier League side Stoke City in 2016-17, as the young centre-back was sold for just over £200k. More recently, right-back Toby Sibbick departed the Dons at the start of the current 2019-20 season for a similar fee to Sweeney, though he joined Championship side Barnsley.
One of the most famous transfers in Wimbledon’s history was the arrival of ‘world’s strongest footballer’ Adebayo Akinfenwa who arrived from Gillingham for free at the start of the 2014-15 season. During his first season for the Dons he was their top league goal-scorer with 15 goals, and the following season he led the Dons to promotion to Football League One for the first time in their new history.