Dons add trio late on deadline day to round out a strong transfer window

Robbie Neilson added 13 players this summer
Robbie Neilson added 13 players this summer

We were made to wait until late in the day, but MK Dons completed three deals in the final hour to make it a positive deadline day for the club.

With little in the way of drama, certainly from the outside looking in, landing two midfielders and a full-back is almost exactly what the doctor ordered.

Robbie Neilson knew, even four games in the new league season, his first team wasn't complete. Despite Dean Lewington's stature at the club, Neilson has been looking for a left back since his arrival at Stadium MK. In Scott Golbourne, he has one with experience to match Lewington's, but junior in years to counter the skipper's shortcomings of late.

In Alex Gilbey they have another midfielder, proven at this level, but almost more importantly, one that comes with game time already under his belt this season. Sold to Dons by opening day opponents Wigan Athletic, Gilbey cut his teeth at Colchester United, and was hotly tipped to go far by his bosses at the Weston Homes Community Stadium before his move north.

Finally, Aidan Nesbitt - the first signing through the door on deadline day - switches Scottish champions Celtic for Stadium MK. The U21 international, according to his new boss, won't be an immediate first teamer and will play a second-fiddle role much in the same way Conor McGrandles is likely to this season.

Away though went Paul Downing to Blackburn Rovers until the end of the season. Shoved down the pecking order behind Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Joe Walsh and Scott Wootton, Downing's game time would be limited this season at Stadium MK so was afforded the chance to move to Ewood Park on loan.

On the whole, it was a busy window for Dons. As many as 13 players were added to the squad as Neilson looks to put his mark on the club that had looked so familiar for so long. While the likes of Osman Sow, Gboly Ariyibi and Ouss Cisse have taken the headlines, the likes of Ebanks-Landell and Peter Pawlett could yet be the key men drafted in, and Aaron Tshibola is yet to live up to his big-money price tag which saw him move to Aston Villa in 2016 but has shown flashes of being on the right page.

Dons look a dramatically different side at the beginning of September than they did at the end of April when the last campaign ended. Whether they turn out to be any better, only time will tell. The calibre of player brought in by Neilson too is a different direction to the one fans have been used to in recent years.

But while their reputations may precede them, it is now up to the new players to prove they're better than the tried and tested old guard released from duty five months ago.