FORMER Swindon Town defender Joe Tomlinson has signed a permanent contract with the club’s League Two rivals, Milton Keynes Dons.

Tomlinson’s move from Peterborough United, for an undisclosed fee, arrives on transfer deadline day – around eight months after he joined Swindon on loan hours before the January window slammed shut.

The 23-year-old had a year left on his deal at the Weston Homes Stadium but opted to sign elsewhere with first-team opportunities under Darren Ferguson remaining difficult to come by.

Tomlinson is MK Dons’ ninth summer acquisition and joins another ex-Town player – Jack Payne – at Stadium MK following his loan arrival on Thursday.

The left-back has made 91 senior appearances so far in his career, including 34 in the EFL, while he has also scored 14 goals and provided three assists.

During the first of two stints at the County Ground, Tomlinson won the EFL’s Young Player of the Month award.

Speaking to MK Dons’ media team, Tomlinson said: “It’s a fantastic feeling. This is a great club and this is an exciting opportunity for me – I can’t wait to get going.

“I knew of the interest early on in the window, and it’s a move I’ve wanted to happen for a while. This was where I wanted to be, so I’m really happy that it’s done and I’m here now.

“Graham [Alexander – manager] is an experienced football person, and I believe he will really help improve me as a player.

“That’s the aim coming here – to get better and better as a player and help MK Dons win games and be successful.”

Speaking about the capture of Swindon-born Tomlinson, MK Dons’ manager said: “We’re delighted to bring Joe in on this important day – he is a great addition for us.

“We like Joe’s versality, his professionalism and his attributes - he is going to bring a lot of competition to the squad.

“Speaking to him, you can feel the enthusiasm that he has to come here and be successful here at MK Dons.”