AFTER a season of speculation, Stephen Gleeson has signed a new two-year deal with MK Dons.
The 23-year-old’s contract was set to expire at the end of June and he could have walked away for free, but has put pen to paper to extend his stay at stadium:mk.
Boss Karl Robinson was delighted with the news after several ‘productive’ meetings with the midfielder since the end of the season.
“I am ecstatic,” he said. “This is the best signing of the summer because he is one of the best midfielders in the League.
“We have one of the most outstanding young talents in the lower Leagues committed to the Football Club for another two years.
“Stephen Gleeson is putting his own personal career on hold, I know he gets some criticism but he has turned down Championship moves for us, he has put his own career on hold for the fans and for his team mates here at MK Dons and it shows the mark of him as an individual that he is willing to do that.
“Stephen Gleeson is possibly one of the most talented players that I have worked with in a long, long time and I think he has what it takes to play in the Premier League one day.”
Since joining the club initially on loan from Wolves in 2009, Gleeson has become a firm fans favourite. But in the aftermath of the play-off semi final defeat to Huddersfield, all the talk around stadium:mk has been about Gleeson’s future.
And the midfielder said he was delighted to extend his stay.
He said: “Since the play-offs it has been on everyone’s minds about what I was going to do but before the play-offs I knew I wanted to stay.
“I do want to play at a higher level, but I want to do it with this team. I have been here for three years now, I have made a lot of friends and I am settled in the area. I want to get into the Championship with this team and with the manager.
“The defeat at Huddersfield hurt a lot but it shows that everyone cares and everyone has the same ambition and that only confirmed to me that I want to get there with this team and this Club.
“Huddersfield hurt me a lot; probably more than Peterborough, in the second leg we showed that when we get it right we are a really good team. The last two years have really hurt so I want to put it right. It is driving me on to stay clear of the play-offs and hopefully go up automatically.”