Robbo wants to keep Murphy as striker shortage rears ugly head again

MK Dons forward Josh Murphy celebrates his goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Fulham and Milton Keynes Dons at Craven Cottage, London, England on 2 April 2016. Photo by Jon Bromley. PSI-1784-0023

MK Dons forward Josh Murphy celebrates his goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Fulham and Milton Keynes Dons at Craven Cottage, London, England on 2 April 2016. Photo by Jon Bromley. PSI-1784-0023

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MK Dons could go into the summer break without both Nicky Maynard and Alex Revell, but Karl Robinson would love to secure the services of Josh Murphy on a permanent basis.

Top scorer Maynard and fans favourite Revell are both out of contract at the end of the season, as are Antony Kay, Matt Upson, Jordan Spence and Carl Baker.

Nicky Maynard (left) is Dons' top scorer with Murphy this season.

Nicky Maynard (left) is Dons' top scorer with Murphy this season.

Murphy currently shares the top-scorer mantle with Maynard but will return to parent club Norwich City at the final whistle on Saturday.

But with the future unclear for the others out of contract, Robinson admitted: “No-one deserves a contract right now, do they? Some of them will go, some who are under contract will go as well.

“We all know we’d love to buy Josh Murphy - he’d be an amazing addition, but there are so many more players who would be great additions to this football club.”

Dons go into the summer break with only Tom Hitchcock - who has made just one league start in two seasons - and Simon Church - who has spent the last five months on loan at Aberdeen - as recognised strikers on the books.

Dons celebrate with Alex Revell

Dons celebrate with Alex Revell

After missing out on the opportunity to sign last season’s top scorer Will Grigg, who went on to win promotion from League 1 with Wigan, Robinson knows the importance of signing a leading man as quickly a possible to not only appease the concerns of the fans, but also of the players who will remain at the club next season.

He said: “Psychologically, for some of the players here it is, especially if you know some of the faces coming in will have an impact.

“There is still Tom Hitchcock and Simon Church to come back. We still have strikers here, but we’ve got a lot to do.

“I know which one I want. There is one I’m desperate for. I’m not sure the fans will know him, but they’ll certainly know him by the end of the season.”

Robinson’s rebuilding mission though, by his own admission, must be done without such heavy reliance on the loan market.

Dons’ top three scorers last season - Will Grigg, Benik Afobe and Dele Alli - were all on loan, and were never replaced in the summer.

This time around, Robinson feels the perils of the loan market must be quelled, though still feels a new striker will have to be borrowed rather than brought.

“The loan options will probably be a striker and a number 10,” he said. “We have to make sure we only bring in three or four loan players who make an impact on the first team, and we do go up with them, we have the chance to buy them.”