It’s been a difficult season so far for MK Dons. Robbie Neilson’s side currently occupy 17th place in League One, just five points above the relegation zone. A lot was expected of the team prior to the season’s beginning, but they have failed to live up to that potential. Reinforcements in the upcoming transfer window are certainly needed. Here are five potential MK Dons signings for the next window.
Five Potential MK Dons Signings For January
The left-back is currently on loan at MK Dons from Championship high-flyers Bristol City, but this is set to expire in the coming weeks. With Dean Lewington set to go out on loan, though, and Neilson keen to keep Golbourne until the end of the season, the 29-year-old should be high on the incomings signings list.
Golbourne has made 17 appearances for his loan club this season, keeping club captain Lewington well out of the picture with some solid performances. He can often be found supporting the attack with some pacey runs, and isn’t afraid to have a shot when given the opportunity. If Lewington is to go out on loan, too, the Dons would need a left-back to fill the void. Golbourne has already proven himself worthy of the spot, so securing a loan extension or even a permanent move should be a priority.
Lafferty may be the oldest player on the list, but the Northern Ireland international could certainly solve the goal-scoring issues at Stadium MK. The Dons have averaged 0.8 goals per game so far this season, but have had 11.1 shots per game on average.
The 30-year-old is currently with Scottish side Hearts, where current Dons boss Robbie Neilson was previously. In 18 appearances for Hearts this season, he has seven goals, including an excellent strike in the 4-0 drumming of Celtic.
It’s not an eye-catching total, but with Osman Sow struggling for form after his return from injury and Kieran Agard often being deployed on the wings, an international striker with the potential to be top-scorer in League One would be the perfect addition to the squad.
Vassell is Blackpool’s top scorer so far in League One, with eight goals, 30% of the Tangerines’ total of 27. While this would normally rule a club with a budget like MK Dons’ out, Vassell is currently valued at around £150,000, meaning he could well be within the club’s finances.
Vassell, who was born in Milton Keynes and grew up in London, has plenty of non-league experience having spent time with Sutton United, Dover Athletic and Bishop’s Stortford, where he was signed by Peterborough in 2013. He struggled to adapt to life at the Posh, scoring just five times in 28 games. After three unsuccessful loan spells away from the club, he signed for Blackpool in 2016 and re-ignited his career.
He scored 13 goals in all competitions in his first campaign for the Seasiders, with 11 of them coming in the league. With eight already this season, he’s well on course to beat last season’s record. If MK Dons want to climb the league, a striker with this sort of record is a must.
‘Toto’ Nsiala is part of the Shrewsbury side currently defying the odds in League One. The DR Congo international and former Everton youth player has made 21 appearances so far this term and has chipped in with two goals as well with the opener against Blackburn and a last-minute winner against Fleetwood.
MK Dons have had a torrid time at the back this season. While there have been some good individual performances from the likes of Callum Brittain and Joe Walsh, the team is still leaking goals, with 32 conceded in the league already.
Nsiala’s Shrewsbury, though, have the second-best defence in League One, conceding just 14 times. Only league leaders Wigan have bettered this, conceding 12. It’s unlikely that Nsiala would want to leave Shrewsbury with the way things are going for them this season, but Robbie Neilson should be looking for somebody of his calibre to plug the gaps at the back.
The final player in the list is Hearts’ John Souttar. The Scotland youth international arrived from Dundee United in 2016, where he scored one goal in 63 appearances, and he has already made a further 52 outings for Hearts despite being just 21-years-old.
The centre-back has also scored one goal for his country, doing so while making 11 appearances for the U19’s, and has made a further seven for the U17’s and ten for the U21’s.
Robbie Neilson has obvious ties with Hearts, so there is potential for him to take one of their prize assets. Souttar is valued at around £600,000 though, and this is only set to rise if he can continue his level of performance.
Current Hearts boss Craig Levein has backed him to become a top defender, telling the Edinburgh Evening News “His range of passing and his striking of the ball was exceptional. Everybody thinks he’s 24 because he’s been about so long but he’s only just turning 21. He’s got everything that’s needed and I think he’ll get tougher as he gets older and learns the position.”
Neilson has already managed to convince players like Robbie Muirhead, Peter Pawlett and Aiden Nesbitt to make the move across the border. Souttar would make a perfect fourth as he fits the style of play at the club and is a young, up and coming player. He would have to make the move soon, though, otherwise bigger clubs may come calling.