RICHIE Wellens believes Swindon Town will benefit from Ali Koiki’s presence in the left-back role, after the teenager was confirmed as Swindon Town’s third winter signing yesterday.

Koiki, 18, is part of the Burnley Under 23s squad and caught the eye of boss Wellens during one of the team’s Premier Development League Two fixtures.

The teenager is allowed to feature in Town’s game on Saturday at the County Ground against League Two leaders Lincoln City.

Wellens regarded Koiki as Burnley’s best defender of the four on show that day, and insists his ability to be strong in one-on-one positions will benefit Town’s defensive structure.

He said: “He is quick, strong and a very good one-on-one defender. I went to watch him for Burnley U23s and he did really and was probably the best of the back four.

“The day after, one of the centre-backs went to Sunderland so I am sure if we didn’t move, someone else would have got him. He is only a young lad, but physically he is very powerful.

“Hopefully he will give some athleticism down the left side and some competition.”

Meanwhile Koiki, whose youth career started at Crystal Palace before he was scouted by Burnley, is relishing the opportunity of taking his career to the next level.

After featuring at U23s level for Burnley on a regular basis, the left-back is determined not to waste his first chance at senior level.

He said: “I’m just really excited to get started – it’s a new chapter in my career and I’m eager to see how things go. It’s the beginning of a journey for me, playing men’s football so really want to get things going.

“The men’s game is spoken about a lot and it’s big step up from youth football to men’s football so I want to make sure I get into it and make an impact.”