Dons net hat-trick of signings

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THREE new faces were added to Karl Robinson’s MK Dons squad by the time the January transfer window closed on Tuesday night.

After Alan Smith’s high profile move was completed on Sunday, the Dons manager worked hard on deadline day to secure the loan signings of two more players from top flight clubs – full-back James Tavernier also arriving at the club from Newcastle, and winger Paul Slane joining from Celtic until the end of the season.

Dons were dealt a huge blow on Monday night when Tottenham recalled highly-rated right-back Adam Smith from his loan before farming him out to Championship side Leeds United within 24 hours.

Robinson also agreed to cancel Anthony McNamee’s contract as he barely featured in a Dons shirt since his deadline day signing in August from Premier League side Norwich City. He has now joined League 2 Wycombe, while Lewis Guy is currently a free agent after his contract was cancelled earlier this year.

Despite losing England under 21 international Adam Smith, Dons assistant manager John Gorman said he was delighted to have got Tavernier, whose services he says were sought before an approach for Smith was made by Leeds.

The 20-year old has experience of League 1 football having had successful loan spells at Carlisle United and Sheffield Wednesday already this season.

“We’re delighted to have him,” Gorman said. “We wanted him before we got Adam Smith, but Newcastle didn’t want to let him go initially. We’re lucky to have him.

“It was too soon for him to play against Sheffield Wednesday but we’ve got another quality player on the books.”

Slane’s signing was completed during Tuesday night’s game with Wednesday. Also 20 years-old, he can play on either wing and has plenty of pace to burn – one of the attributes Robinson was looking for in signing a new wide man.

After coming through the youth system at Motherwell, Slane made his first appearance aged 17, and also featured for the Steelmen in their Europa League campaign.

After impressing at Fir Park, he earned a move to Scottish giants Celtic two years ago. But injuries have hampered his progress at Celtic Park, though he has been on the fringes of Neil Lennon’s squad throughout the season.

The emergency loan window will remain open until the end of February, but for now Robinson is happy with the squad most feel is capable of securing promotion.