As football has been brought to a halt for what seems likely to be a while, Last Word on Football has taken a look at the MK Dons players who could leave on a free transfer this summer.
Players MK Dons Could Lose as Free Transfers This Summer
Halted at the Wrong Time
From an MK Dons view, the season was halted at just the wrong time. They were in a decent spell of form, relative to their lowly position in the table. A home loss against Doncaster Rovers in their final game before the season’s suspension left them in 18th, eight points above the relegation zone.
Russell Martin has done an excellent job turning the club around since stepping up to the managerial role. However, with this extended time off, he’ll need to turn his attention to a host of expiring contracts.
The three-year deal that Alex Gilbey signed when he joined from Wigan Athletic expires this summer. The midfielder spent a lot of his first campaign with the Dons injured, then struggled to get going in the League Two season.
However, in the second half of 2018/19, his form picked up again and he has not looked back since. He hit a purple patch in front of goal earlier in 2020, scoring away at Gillingham and Doncaster while also sealing a brilliant home win against Portsmouth.
There’s no doubt that Martin and the Dons fans will want Gilbey to sign on again. This one is only likely being held up due to the uncertainty around the season.
Former Bournemouth defender Baily Cargill was one of the many players brought in by Paul Tisdale at the start of the 2018/19 season. He made an excellent start to his Dons career, putting in many solid performances on the left of a bank of three centre-backs.
Cargill hasn’t quite hit those heights this season, though. He featured fairly regularly at the start of the season but did not play a league game for over a month after being dropped following the defeat to Accrington Stanley.
The defender was sent off in the dying minutes of the home defeat to Rotherham United and he has not featured in the league since, playing only twice in the Checkatrade Trophy. With Cargill seemingly out of favour under Martin, it would not be a surprise to see him leave for free.
Callum Brittain is one of the hottest prospects in the MK Dons squad right now. The right-back has had to share his role a bit more frequently this season following the arrival of Regan Poole, but he has still performed well when called upon.
Martin will surely be working on a deal to keep Brittain at the club. While there is currently no indication of clubs sniffing around the right-back, there’s a chance that could change once there is a better understanding of how the transfer window will work this summer, given Brittain’s age and potential.
Lee Nicholls has been the first-choice goalkeeper at MK Dons since the start of the 2017/18 season. While many have questioned his performances in the past, the 27-year-old has stepped up a gear this year and become a far greater presence in the squad. He currently tops the League One charts for saves made with 123.
There seems little reason that a deal cannot be struck to extend the goalkeeper’s contract. His four seasons at the club have either been spent at the bottom of League One or in Leauge Two, so clubs in better positions are not likely to be looking around. For the Dons, though, he is a solid, reliable keeper that should be high up on the priority list to retain.
Centre-back Jordan Moore-Taylor was another brought in by Tisdale for the League Two season. His time at MK Dons has been marred by injury problems, which largely resulted in a serious dip of form for the club around October and November back in 2018.
When Moore-Taylor as featured, he has been among the best performers in the team, more often than not. However, his injury record will certainly be a concern when it comes to securing a new deal.
Russell Martin may be inclined to offer one more chance to the defender and hopefully get an injury-free season under his belt. However, if the boss is intent on building a new squad in his own image, Moore-Taylor could be one of those that is sacrificed.