Released and Re-signed ? – Winger Edition:

The penultimate article of the series takes a look at the wingers. The Dons already have the likes of Jonathan Leko, Nathan Holland, and Darragh Burns under contract, but reinforcements are still needed in this area. There aren’t that many players being released for this position, but there are a select few that might be suitable for Dons. Here are seven out of contract wingers that Graham Alexander could look at signing:

1) Olamide Shodipo
As ever starting off with the most optimistic option, Olamide Shodipo had a busy season. He played 11 league games for QPR in the Championship before going out on loan to Lincoln in January. He played a further 20 league games in League One, scoring 2 goals and assisting 2 more.

Shodipo has struggled to secure a starting place at QPR but has enjoyed more successful spells on loan in League One playing for the likes of Sheffield Wednesday and Oxford. There’s a good chance the 25 year old gets a League One move now he’s departing The Hoops but a good wage could see him drop one more division.

2) Michael Jacobs
Michael Jacobs has a lot of football league experience and has enjoyed many successful seasons in higher divisions. He has three League One promotions to his name for the likes of Wolves and Wigan. He played 32 league games for Portsmouth in the 2022/23 season scoring 4 goals and assisting another 4. However, the majority of his appearances came from the bench so Portsmouth decided to release him at the end of the season. Jacobs could still do a decent job in League One but there’s always a chance he drops to League Two in order to become a key player in a team’s promotion charge.

3) Rolando Aarons
Rolando Aarons would be a high risk high reward option for the Dons. The Huddersfield man was sent out on loan to Motherwell in the summer of 2022 but only managed 2 league games before he picked up a long term injury that’s kept him from playing much football since. When fit, Aarons provides a lot of quality, but his lack of playtime is a major concern.

Aged 27, there might not be too many clubs at a higher level that would be prepared to gamble on him. With this being said he’s never dropped to League Two before and only played a few games in League One during a loan spell at Wycombe in 2019/20. After the defensive injury woes throughout the 2022/23 season, Dons might not want to risk signing an injury prone player.

4) Keshi Anderson
Despite claiming that Dons might not want to risk signing an injury prone player, the next player on the list is all too familiar with the treatment room. Keshi Anderson’s season was demolished by injuries. He managed just 9 league games for Blackpool in the Championship, but he was able to pick up 2 assists in that time.

The 28 year old has a good amount of experience and has a League Two promotion on his CV already from his time at Swindon. If his injury crisis can be resolved then he would be a very handy player in League Two. However, he would also be a quality option for a lot of League One sides so he might be a popular man this summer despite the fitness concerns.

5) Harry Anderson
From one Anderson to another, Harry Anderson played 28 league games in League One for Bristol Rovers though most of these came as bench appearances. He only got 1 assist in that time but there is still a good player in there somewhere. He’s been promoted from League Two twice already, most recently for Bristol Rovers but also during Lincoln’s 2018/19 title winning season. This was the same season that Dons were promoted back to League One.

With the exception of the season just gone, Anderson has been fairly consistent over the past few seasons. A drop to League Two might be what he needs to get back on track. Dons need more proven winners in the squad and Anderson would be a great option in that sense.

6) Gwion Edwards
Gwion Edwards has endured a strange season. He was virtually frozen out of Wigan’s Championship side with the exception of 2 bench appearances. It wasn’t until early February that he joined Ross County on loan but with so little of the season left, he only played 5 times in the Scottish Premiership.

At a first glance Edwards doesn’t seem like a good option for a side looking to get back on their feet, but prior to the 2022/23 season, he was a top end League One player for the likes of Ipswich and Peterborough as well as the aforementioned Wigan. Now at 30 years old, he provides a lot of experience. However like the other players on this list, he could still get offers from a higher level.

7) Josh Martin
The final player on this list is a familiar face. Josh Martin didn’t exactly set the world alight in his previous stint at The Dons. In truth he’s still not the finished article but he has improved since he was last in MK Dons colours. The Norwich prospect spent the season on loan at Barnsley where he made 17 league appearances scoring 1 goal.

Most of his appearances came from the bench and now he’s been released from Norwich, it would make sense for him to get a proper run of games. He may need to drop to League Two in order to do that so perhaps his return wouldn’t be the worst idea.

Special Mentions and the Verdict:
The market for free agent wingers is relatively limited this summer. There are a number of solid players such as Ryan Broom (Cheltenham), Alex Gilliead (Bradford) and Mustapha Carayol (Burton) who are out of contract but have been offered new deals. However, it would likely be too difficult to tempt them away from their current clubs so they remained off the main list.

Most of these suggestions play at a very similar standard but Michael Jacobs and Harry Anderson stand out as names that would fit what The Dons are looking for. They’re players that are proven at a higher level and have already enjoyed multiple promotions. Gwion Edwards would also fit the bill but given his lack of recent play time it’s hard to judge where he’s at in terms of quality.

Thank you for reading the winger edition of released and re-signed. Next time, it’s the series finale which is of course the strikers! I hope you enjoyed the read but let us know what winger you would like to see sign for The Dons.

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