Future of Dons striker Nombe remains up in the air

A disappointing season at Luton Town has done little to help his future prospects at Stadium MK

By Toby Lock
Monday, 28th June 2021, 12:32 pm
Updated Monday, 28th June 2021, 12:34 pm
Sam Nombe made seven appearances for Dons last season before being loaned ot Luton
Sam Nombe made seven appearances for Dons last season before being loaned ot Luton

The future of Sam Nombe hangs in the balance after an 18-month period to forget for the striker.

Bursting into first team contention as Dons returned to League One in 2019, a lengthy injury saw him sidelined for three months. He returned to a side under new management, playing a new formation and system.

The sale of Rhys Healey last summer thrust him into first team action again. Scoring just two goals in 25 appearances in Russell Martin's system, Nombe hardly set the world alight but interest began to surface from the Championship as Luton Town made a second move for the striker. Taking him on loan initially, the Hatters had the opportunity to acquire his services on a permanent basis if he impressed at Kenilworth Road.

Nombe in action in the season opener last season against Doncaster

That didn't happen though. Mike Simmonds, sports editor at Luton News said: "The striker had a tough time of it at Kenilworth Road last season. He signed in October on loan with a view to a permanent move, he never showed anything like his true potential.

"Restricted to just one league start, that lasting just 45 minutes, he earned a dressing down from manager Nathan Jones in the press, told in no uncertain terms that he ‘needed to do more.’

"Despite that, there were flashes of what he could do, making some well-timed runs into the area, but his finishing wasn’t quite up to scratch either, missing two one-on-ones, meaning he returns to Dons without a goal to his name following a frustrating season."

Prior to breaking up for the summer, Martin admitted Nombe didn't have a future at Stadium MK upon his return, but the 22-year-old was back in the building last week ahead of pre-season training, which got underway today (Monday).

Given Dons' current lack of new recruits thus far, and lack of depth up front at the moment, Nombe might come in handy as a body on the ground but it remains likely that even with strong showings in pre-season, he will be surplus to requirements in Martin's masterplan.

For Nombe, establishing his future sooner rather than later will be vital as he sounds out other opportunities before the start of the new season. And it will be the same scenario for the club too - the sooner the dilemma can be sorted, the better.