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Conor Wilkinson returns to the Football League at Leyton Orient

Connor Wilkinson

Dagenham & Redbridge striker Conor Wilkinson has returned to the Football League after signing for Leyton Orient.

The National League champions exercised a buyout clause in the 24-year-old’s contract, having lost striker Macauley Bonne to Championship side Charlton Athletic earlier today.

Wilkinson joined the Daggers initially on loan from Gillingham before making the move to east London permanent in January – can Orient win promotion again, find the best odds on Football Odds Comparison.

The forward scored 12 goals in 23 appearances for the Daggers last term after starting his career at Bolton Wanderers, featuring 17 time for the Whites in his four-year spell.

While at Bolton, he enjoyed loan spells at Torquay United, Oldham Athletic, Newport County, and Chesterfield before he made the permanent switch to Gillingham in 2017 for an undisclosed fee.

Wilkinson appeared for the Gills 50 times in total, including seven League One caps last term before he signed for Dagenham & Redbridge and enjoyed his best scoring spell to date.

Wilkinson has also appeared for the Republic of Ireland at youth level including U21s where he has made 13 appearances and scored two goals.

Dagenham chairman Peter Freund said: “When we signed Conor on a permanent contract in January it was with one eye on this season but also to help keep the club up, and by all measures he was as big a factor in that as anyone in the squad.

“That said, in order to extend his contract, we were forced to put in a buy-out clause which we never were happy about, but was a condition of him signing.

“The news that Conor is moving on is bittersweet, as we are thrilled he will have a chance to star in the Football league (from which he came when with Gillingham), but gutted he won’t be part of our plans for the club.

“I can assure you we are doing everything we can to sign multiple players this off-season and are 100% committed to putting a team on the pitch that will help lead us to our goal of promotion.

“All we can ask for from you, our fans and supporters, is to be patient – but we absolutely share your frustration with this news.”

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