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Southampton forward Tyreke Johnson set to agree permanent deal at Gillingham

Gillingham are expected to finalise a permanent deal for Southampton forward Tyreke Johnson this week.

The 22-year-old initially moved to the Gills on a loan deal but manager Steve Evans is keen to make that permanent, at least until the end of the season, freeing up more options in the loan market.

New loan signing Tyreke Johnson made his Gillingham debut against Burton Picture: Barry Goodwin
New loan signing Tyreke Johnson made his Gillingham debut against Burton Picture: Barry Goodwin

Johnson made his debut for Gillingham on Saturday in a 1-0 defeat to Burton Albion, showing some promising signs on his first appearance. He had been selected to start as options were short and Alex MacDonald - who had originally been pencilled in to play - was feeling unwell.

Boss Evans said: “He is a young kid, just 19, he is direct, he is quick, he has a great left foot. He did really well on his debut.”

Gillingham can have five loan players in their matchday squad but recalls for Coventry pair Josh Eccles and Declan Drysdale, along with Celtic youngster Scott Robertson frees up space in their ranks.

Question marks remain over the two players from Arsenal, Trae Coyle and Zech Medley. Neither were involved at the weekend.

It could mean five fresh faces joining on loan but Evans won’t be panicked into rushing deals through before the weekend. He’s busy working on those deals but said: “You have to suffer a bit of pain when they go back. The one that hurt the most is losing Scott Robertson, he is a natural left sider, very gifted, but Celtic have their own problems.

“We are getting on with it. We want to recruit, we wanted to recruit yesterday, but we can’t recruit the wrong players. If we jump in with haste we will repent. We have to bring in players that we believe will make a difference.”

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