Record signing Kieran Agard has been bought in ‘to be the main man’ and to score the goals to lead Dons back to the Championship.
The 26-year-old was revealed as an MK Dons player on Thursday afternoon, making the switch from Bristol City for a club record fee.
With proven pedigree in League 1, having found the back of the net regularly for both Rotherham and Bristol City in recent years, Dons boss Karl Robinson exclusively told the Citizen the deal was a ‘no-brainer’ for the club.
“It was a no-brainer for us. We had other options, but it would have been on loan, and we felt a permanent deal was what the fans deserved, and what we needed.
“It’s a three year deal, which shows our intent. I know it has been quiet over the summer, but now people can see why.
“He’s here for his goals, his mentality, his athleticism. He’s a good age too, and he’s such a nice kid. Here, he’s coming in as the main man and he need to make sure he’s on his game.
“Kieran knows how much we want him and we’re looking forward to seeing him play, be it off the wing or as a number nine. He scored all his goal playing off the right at Rotherham - and I remember Mark Wright did the same when he was here.”
Dons fans were given a sneak-peak of their new leading man on Tuesday night, when he was seen on the pitch with Karl Robinson and chairman Pete Winkelman prior to the club’s EFL Cup match at Newport County.
But prior to his arrival, Robinson spent six weeks chasing his man, and eventually got to meet with him last Friday, before the Shrewsbury game, to urge him to leave Ashton Gate.
Robinson said: “If people only knew how much we worked on getting this one over the line.
“I met him before the Shrewsbury game and we began the process for the medical on Tuesday, couldn’t say anything out of respect for Bristol City.
“We want to thank them for accepting what we offered, It was a bit of a surprise (that Agard became available), but they spent big on Jonathan Kodjia, they’ve got Tammy Abraham, Aaron Wilbraham, Lee Tomlin. They’ve got a lot of strength at the top end. Maybe Kieran just ran his race there.
“We agreed a fee and personal terms with him. We began things with him eight days ago, but it was a six week protocol up to that. As soon as the fee and wages were agreed, it was just about getting the medical done.”
Agard is Dons’ eighth signing of the summer, with all bar one - GC Williams from Fulham - being permanent deals.
While the manager still wants two more wide players to come into the side, Robinson feels the deals he has made will see more of the playing budget out on the pitch, rather than sitting in the stands this season, with no-one drafted in to just be a squad player.
He said: “All of the money and the value is in the team now, it’s not on the terraces. Last year, we had too many players sat upstairs.
“It’s scary, because we don’t have the emergency loan to fall back on, but we’ve got Kieran Agard, who is a fantastic deal for us and the fans.
“The signings we’ve made over the last few weeks (goalkeeper Lee Nicholls and defender Scott Wootton) have had very little impact on the first team yet. They will come into the team later in the season, and show we’ve got tremendous strength in depth. It’s not in numbers, but in excellent support acts.
“We’ve always wanted this level of quality and competition.”