Payne’s Player Rankings 2022/23 (Part 3)

You’ve read two installments so far. So here’s the finale. In the last part of his season review of player performance, impact, development/growth Luke takes us through the top ten Dons this season.

10) Sulley Kaikai
One of only three players in the top ten that weren’t at the club last season, Kaikai was another January reinforcement. He offered versatility, playing as an inside forward, a winger and as a wingback depending on the availability of other players in the squad. He started slow but quickly adapted to playing the MK way and his technical ability helped Dons to create more chances in the final third.

9) Mo Eisa Eisa was The Dons’ top scorer this season with 11 league goals and a further 3 in cup competitions. The goals he scored were often the difference between a good result and a poor one but he also had a lot of bad days at the office, sometimes missing three or four major chances in a game. He was reliable from the penalty spot but frequently missed from one on one opportunities and favourable shooting positions in the box. With this being said he did score goal of the season with a fantastic curling shot from outside the box against Barnsley.

8) Jack Tucker
By far the most improved player this season, Tucker’s had a rollercoaster ride since he arrived at MK Dons. For the first half of the season he was considered a liability, making a costly mistake seemingly at least once a game. However, as his playtime increased through injuries to the likes of Dean Lewington and Warren O’Hora, Tucker started to find his feet and became a crucial part of the defence in the latter stages of the season.

7) Daniel Harvie
Harvie was one of the more consistent players in the squad this season. Unfortunately he finished the season the same way he started it…injured. He was mostly free from competition with the likes of Henry Lawrence and Zak Jules unable to shift him from his wingback spot. In the absence of Dean Lewington, Warren O’Hora and Josh McEachran, Harvie did captain the team a couple of times though he was booked on both occasions. Harvie’s injury for the final few games left a big weakness in the defence that only seemed to be fixed once Sulley Kaikai was deployed as a wingback for the final game of the season.

6) Warren O’Hora
Despite Harry Darling leaving the club, O’Hora remained as the centre-back that quietly did his job really well whilst others took the headlines. He was consistent in most games he played and was typically more reliable than the likes of Jack Tucker and Zak Jules who both struggled for consistency. When Lewington picked up an injury, O’Hora was the one to lead the squad. However, a long term injury put a dampener on O’Hora’s season and he missed four months of fixtures before returning to the side for the final three games.

5) Tennai Watson
Watson missed the first part of the season through injury, only returning in November. He had a slow return to the side, which wasn’t a surprise given how long he had been missing. Eventually he would start to find form and was arguably one of The Dons’ top performers for the last couple of months.

4) Paris Maghoma
The only new player to make the top five, Maghoma transformed the midfield when he arrived in January. He brought grit, determination and drive to a side that otherwise had none and he was one of the first names on the team sheet for the duration of his time at the club. He scored a crucial late goal to earn a draw away at Lincoln and was the architect for goal of the season, running the length of the pitch and beating three Barnsley players before setting up Mo Eisa.

3) Dean Lewington
Another record-breaking campaign for captain fantastic as he edges closer and closer to various appearance records for English football. However, he missed the middle part of the season through injury just as Tennai Watson was returning to the side. Lewington’s influence on this club cannot be understated. He’s the captain, he managed a fixture after the club sacked Liam Manning and when the skipper eventually returned to the side, it inspired a good run of form from the team. Leadership at its finest.

2) Josh McEachran
McEachran was ever-present in the midfield of this Dons side, only missing a few games towards the beginning of the season with injury. He was usually one of the top performers on any given matchday, though he did go through a poor spell around December. In the absence of Dean Lewington and Warren O’Hora he captained the side and he formed a solid partnership with Paris Maghoma for the second half of the season.

1) Jamie Cumming
Realistically there was only one man that could be considered player of the season and that’s Jamie Cumming. He made countless saves across the course of the season that kept Dons in the battle for survival right to the very end. He may struggle with his distribution at times but without him on the pitch, Dons would’ve been relegated a lot sooner than they were. Cumming played every league game and kept 11 clean sheets despite how fragile the defence looked at times.

So there you have it, all 32 players ranked from worst to best. Are there any I’ve got outrageously wrong? Let us know what changes you would make. 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!

Big Thank You to Luke for a brilliant and thought provoking article. It’d great to let him know your thoughts on his article on our socials.

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