Wimbledon enhance defence with loan signing of Kofi Balmer from Crystal Palace

Kofi Balmer

Kofi Balmer Credit: None

Wimbledon have reinforced its defensive line-up by securing the loan of Crystal Palace centre-back Kofi Balmer for the remainder of the season.

The 23-year-old Northern Irishman, who gained League One experience with Port Vale this season, is set to continue his development with the Dons.

Balmer, hailing from Newtownabbey, made a significant impact in his early career.

He scored on his NIFL Premiership debut at just 16 years old while playing for Ballymena United, where he accumulated over 90 appearances.

His move to Larne marked his transition to a full-time professional, and his performances there caught the attention of clubs abroad, leading to Crystal Palace acquiring him for an undisclosed fee.

During his time with Palace, Balmer was named as a substitute in three Premier League matches by then-manager Patrick Vieira and played a role in their under-21 side's journey to the Premier League International Cup final.

Before joining Wimbledon, Balmer linked up with Andy Crosby at Port Vale, making 16 appearances across all competitions before a hamstring injury led to his recall by Palace.

Now in London, Balmer expressed his enthusiasm for his new chapter with Wimbledon. “I can’t wait to get started, meet the lads and hopefully have a good run in,” he said. 

Johnnie Jackson, speaking about the new addition, described Balmer as "a young, aggressive defender who likes to play on the front foot."

Craig Cope, Head of Football Operations at Wimbledon, also expressed excitement over Balmer's arrival.

“He has a wealth of experience at senior level and suits our style,” Cope stated.