ATTACKING midfielder Aaron Wildig has been backed to give Newport County AFC “bite” in the final third after signing on a free transfer.

The 30-year-old from Hereford was offered a fresh contract by Morecambe at the end of the season but the captain turned down the League One club to be closer to his family.

After seven years with the Shrimps, the midfielder will drop back down to the fourth tier with County, who he faced in the 2021 play-off final at Wembley and scored against in the FA Cup last season.

Wildig will help to fill the void left by influential loanees Ollie Cooper and Finn Azaz in the final third with manager James Rowberry looking to add further attacking options this summer.

South Wales Argus: SIGNING: Aaron Wildig has moved to Newport CountySIGNING: Aaron Wildig has moved to Newport County

“Aaron is a leader who will give us more experience at the top end of the pitch, and a bit of bite,” said Rowberry, who sought the opinion of Wildig’s former Shrimps teammate Kevin Ellison about the signing.

“Morecambe don’t necessarily play through the lines but Aaron has still had above league average for expected goals, assists and passes.

“When I think about what he will be like in our team it excites me. I am really delighted to get him.”

Wildig came through the ranks at Cardiff City and made his debut for Dave Jones in 2009 and was an unused substitute in that season’s Championship play-off final defeat to Blackpool.

He made 21 appearances for the Bluebirds before having a loan spell at Hamilton in Scotland and then moving to Shrewsbury and helping them to League Two promotion in 2012.

South Wales Argus: GOAL: Aaron Wildig scored against County in the FA Cup last seasonGOAL: Aaron Wildig scored against County in the FA Cup last season

His move to Morecambe came in 2015 and he went on to make 248 appearances for the Lancashire club, 27 of them last season.

On announcing his exit at the start of the month, Wildig said: “It has been a tough few weeks deciding if I can make it work but having lived in Lancaster for seven years, the time is right to put my girlfriend and little lad first and move closer to my family.”

Wildig, who will officially sign on July 1, becomes the Exiles’ fourth signing of their summer recruitment drive.

Midfielder Sam Bowen agreed to a move from Cardiff for an undisclosed fee, striker Chanka Zimba has followed him from the Bluebirds on a season-long loan and forward Will Evans arrives from Bala on a free transfer.