Lewes star who turned down Tottenham joins Cardiff City

Lewes have reached an agreement with Cardiff City for the transfer of Ollie Tanner.

His leap up five divisions will be for a fee that remains undisclosed and he will join the Championship side for the start of the 2022/23 season.

It comes a few months after he looked in line for a move to Tottenham Hotspur but decided against it and played out the rest of the season with the Rooks.

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A statement from Lewes said: "Ollie joined the Rooks in the summer of 2021 and made an immediate impact, scoring on his debut away to Cray Wanderers. The 20-year-old made a total of 35 appearances for the Rooks, scoring 13 times including memorable efforts against Margate (which won our goal of the season award), Worthing and Merstham.

"After significant interest from Premier League and Championship clubs during the January transfer window, a number of clubs tracked Ollie’s progress during the second half of the season. Cardiff City contacted the Club in May and invited Ollie to train with them where they were impressed with him and negotiated and agreed terms with both club and player.

"Ollie is naturally sad to leave The Dripping Pan but knows this is a huge opportunity:"

Tanner told the Rooks website: “It has been a great year at Lewes – it is such a great club. The fans have supported the team, and me personally unconditionally and that will always stay with me. It is a special club and I will never forget my time here”.

Ollie Tanner impressed with 13 goals in 35 games for Lewes in 2021-22 / Picture: James Boyes

Manager Tony Russell told the site: “This time last year, Ollie got released from a step one club. His story is an incredible one, and I’m so happy to have played a small part in it. He has had to deal with a lot this season but yet nothing fazes him. I have no doubt he will go on to great things; I’m so proud of him. He has been a pleasure to work with, I look forward to watching the next part of his footballing life. He will be missed both on and off the pitch."

Lewes said Tanner's move demonstrated the work the management team had done in developing Ollie, among others, after being released by a club at a higher level.

Lewes chair Stuart Fuller said: “Ollie’s talent has been there for all to see on the pitch, but few see how mature he is off the pitch and this move is the next step in what promises to be a great career. It has been a pleasure to have him at Lewes and we will certainly look forward to seeing his progress in the Championship."

Lewes added: "From everyone at the Club, we’d like to thank Ollie for bringing us many a memorable moment in the red and black with his special talent and wish him all the best in this exciting next step in his career."