Ben Reeves’ future is left up in the air: what should MK Dons do?

Staying or going? Ben Reeves.
Staying or going? Ben Reeves.

There’s nothing wrong with aiming high, being ambitious and wanting the best for yourself, but in the curious case of Ben Reeves, it may just have come back to bite him in the backside.

It is not often that a player appearing in a dugout causes such controversy and social media rousings, but when the 25-year-old was spotted sat among the MK Dons squad on Saturday, the rumour mill began to crank into gear.

Offered a bumper deal earlier this year in a bid to keep him from the clutches of others sniffing around him - namely former boss Karl Robinson, now at Charlton Athletic - Reeves rebuffed the contract.

At the time, he cited a desire to play at a higher level, but by the time the first pre-season game rolled around, he was a free agent.

Until the Aylesbury FC game on Saturday, Dons boss Robbie Neilson was unaware of Reeves’ whereabouts, and hadn’t spoken to him since his final pitch to the midfielder.

So it was something of a shock when Reeves was seen in the dugouts at Aylesbury FC on Saturday, sat snugly next to new signing Peter Pawlett.

His appearance has split opinion among Dons fans. Having played just 62 per cent of Dons' games in the last three seasons - restricted by various and numerous injuries - some believe Dons are better spending money elsewhere, while others fondly remember Reeves' ability to score from anywhere, and on his day, being unplayable.

But given Reeves is out of contract and seemingly out of luck, the question begs: just what was he doing there?

If it was a farewell, it was a bizarre place and indeed time to do it, giving fans optimism with his ‘wait and see’ comments to them.

More likely, though, it was a cap-in-hand return to his former club; a last-ditch effort to rekindle a deal which Neilson himself felt was no longer on the table.

Irrespective of the motive, Reeves was not part of the party destined for Dons’ Hungarian training camp on Sunday. But if he is to be a Dons player next season, it will have to be with a healthy slice of humble pie.