DONS have pulled off a huge coup by landing Newcastle United’s Alan Smith on loan until the end of the season.
The 31-year-old has played just six minutes for the Magpies this season and met with new boss Karl Robinson on Sunday to put pen to paper.
Rumours were rife on social network site Twitter on Friday night, but both Newcastle and Dons remained quiet on the matter until officially confirming the deal on Sunday.
He goes straight into the squad for Tuesday’s vital clash with promotion rivals Sheffield Wednesday. Smith will wear the number 11 shirt.
Robinson promised a marquee signing in December, and looks to have fulfilled his promise with the signing of Smith.
The manager said: “Alan Smith is a player of great quality and I am delighted we have been able to get this deal over the line. He has played for three of the great English teams in Leeds, Manchester United and Newcastle, and has a Premier League, Carling Cup and Championship title to his name.
“His talent is undoubted and the experience he will bring into the dressing room is unrivalled. I truly believe adding his character to our team could be the difference in helping us achieve our promotion ambitions.
“This is certainly a signing that will raise a few people’s eyebrows, but having spoken to Alan I know he is determined to help make MK Dons a Championship Club. I am really excited about seeing Alan Smith in an MK Dons shirt, he will fit in to our style of football and will add another element to our front four.
“It would like to publicly thank Alan Pardew and Newcastle United for going the extra mile to help us complete this deal.”
Smith’s career, though blighted in recent years with injury, is a glittering one. Having reached the Champions League semi-finals with Leeds United in 2001, he moved to Manchester United for £7 million in 2004.
Preferred by Sir Alex Ferguson to play in the centre of midfield, he won the Premier League and Carling Cup in his time at Old Trafford, but suffered a horrendous injury in 2006 when he broke his leg and dislocated his ankle, ruling him out for nearly a year. He struggled to get back in the United side and secured a move to Newcastle in 2007.
But with his chances at St James’ Park limited this season, he makes the six-month switch to stadium:mk and will be eligible for the play-offs should he be required.