By Luke Payne, Lead Feature Writer
Payne’s Player Rankings is a new end of season article where I go through all the players to have played at least a minute of football for MK Dons in one of the following competitions: League One, FA Cup, League Cup, EFL Trophy. The players will be ranked based on their performances, their impact on the team and their personal development/growth so academy players that only played one or two fixtures may rank higher than individuals that had a poor season. Eventually this will reveal my player of the season.
It’s worth noting that the loan spells of players such as Dan Kemp and Matt Dennis count towards their ratings as they are still contracted MK Dons players. The secondary loan spells of players that were recalled earlier in the season such as Louie Barry’s spell at Salford do not count towards their rating as they are no longer MK Dons players. With no further ado, let’s get into Payne’s Player Rankings from number 32 down to 23
Rankings for the 2022/23 season:
32) Joshua Kayode
It’s been such a forgettable season for the Rotherham forward that Dons fans can barely remember his name. He made very little impact during his loan spell, picking up just one assist and no goals. He spent the majority of the time injured but was fit enough at the end of January that the management team decided it was safe for Matt Dennis to go out on loan. Shortly afterwards Kayode got injured again and returned to Rotherham leaving Dons a man short up front.
31) Daniel Oyegoke
Oyegoke was rated highly when he arrived at MK Dons and spent the first part of the season as first choice right wingback due to an injury to Tennai Watson. However, his performances let him down massively and by January, Oyegoke had fallen so far down the pecking order that he was recalled from his loan by Brentford.
30) Louie Barry
One of Dons’ rotational forward options for the first half of the season, Barry would excite fans by trying to take on his man but he rarely made any of his flair count for anything. It became an ongoing joke that he doesn’t score and his poor shooting meant he left the club in January with just one goal to his name. Aston Villa decided to loan him out to Salford in League Two for the rest of the season where once again he’s been used in rotation with other forwards.
29) Matt Smith
You know it’s been a bad season when your highlight is sitting on the bench at the World Cup. Smith started the season as a first choice midfielder and many will remember him hitting the bar early on in the opening game away at Cambridge. Since then he’s fallen below the likes of Bradley Johnson, Ethan Robson and Dawson Devoy to the extent that he’s been frozen out of the team for months.
28) Junior Gyamfi
The first academy player on the list, Gyamfi made his MK Dons debut in an EFL Trophy fixture against Cheltenham, a game that The Dons lost 2-1. This was a major step forward in his development but no further opportunities came his way in the first team and he spent the second half of the season out on loan at Bedford Town playing in the Southern League Premier Division Central.
27) Matt Dennis
Dennis has been one of the greatest mysteries of this MK Dons squad, with a good scoring rate in cup competitions but lucky to make the bench for a league game. His physicality and power offered something different to the likes of Mo Eisa and Will Grigg but he found opportunities hard to come by. He went out on loan to League Two Sutton in January under speculation of having a bad attitude in training. His experience at Sutton hasn’t really been any improvement, with Dennis only making a handful of appearances from the bench and sometimes not even making the match day squad.
26) Franco Ravizzoli
The back-up keeper has struggled for game time due to the impressive performances of Jamie Cumming. With this being said, the Argentinian has done well with his opportunities, keeping clean sheets more often than not albeit against weaker opposition.
25) Max Dean
With Dennis out on loan, there was room for another young striker in the ranks. Enter Max Dean. With Mark Jackson taking the reins, the Leeds youth player saw an opportunity and pushed for a move to the League One strugglers. He got his wish and has somewhat impressed fans with his high energy and desire to get involved. His best moment came against Bristol Rovers where he was subbed on and scored a crucial goal late in the game to secure a 2-0 victory. However, he’s had the same struggle Dennis had earlier in the season, with Will Grigg automatically keeping a spot on the bench ahead of the prospect.
24) Callum Tripp Tripp has had a huge season in terms of his development, making his first team debut against Cheltenham in the EFL Trophy at just 16 years of age. He also made the bench for a League Cup fixture but was an unused sub. That was the full extent of his opportunities in the first team but he’s been a mainstay in the Under 18’s squad and even won the EFL Youth Alliance Cup, beating Rotherham 2-0 in the final.
23) Ethan Robson
Robson’s return was met with great optimism following his spell at the club the season before. However, he’s struggled to get an extended run in the team and has been disappointing at best. It looked like he was going to have a revival upon Jackson’s arrival at the club but an injury put an end to this and he’s struggled for minutes ever since.
That concludes the first part of the season run down. Next time Luke takes you from 22 to 11.
Are there any I’ve got outrageously wrong? Let us know what changes you would make on our social media. Hopefully I’ll be able to bring you more content across the summer but that concludes my end of season special so thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed!