Finding a striker capable of replacing Wolves-bound Benik Afobe will be a monumental task for Karl Robinson.
The 21-year-old netted 19 times for Dons this season while on loan from Arsenal.
But a deal emerged late in the day on Friday as Championship side Wolves swooped for the striker in a deal believed to be in the region of £3 million.
Afobe’s departure leaves an enormous hole in Robinson’s squad at a time when Dons are facing their best chance of promotion since 2009.
A similar scenario played out 12 months ago, when Patrick Bamford’s loan from Chelsea wasn’t extended, effectively ending Dons chances of promotion.
And Robinson admits finding a replacement for Afobe will the extremely difficult.
“It’s almost impossible,” he said. “We can’t afford him, it’s as simple as that. That’s where we are.
“Last season, we didn’t have the strength in depth we do now.
“We made a conscious decision to have two strikers on loan, and we signed one in Tom Hitchcock. So we still have two.
“One day I’ll be a manager where I don’t lose any players. It makes things difficult for us, but I’ll make no excuses and we believe in what we’re trying to do.”
Robinson though has already ear-marked two targets with potential replacements.
He said: “I’m now in the market for one or two players, with meetings to bring in some quality.
“Unfortunately, they’ll be loans, but we need to do something. We’re not in a bad position.”