Darling is a Championship calibre defender according to former boss

Harry DarlingHarry Darling
Harry Darling
Harry Darling’s move away from Cambridge United was inevitable, said Bonner, who has no doubts the Dons defender will play at a higher level

Championship managers should be sitting up and paying attention to the performances of Harry Darling, according to his old Cambridge United manager.

The 22-year-old hit the ground running at Stadium MK after joining from the U’s in January 2021, already racking up 63 appearances in a little over a year.

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He was linked with a move to the Championship with Swansea City in the January window, just a year after signing for Dons, to reunite with the man who signed him Russell Martin, but putting that to the back of his mind, Darling has gone on to score five goals in February and March, firing Dons up the table into third spot in League One.

The interest shown in Darling comes as little surprise to Mark Bonner, manager of Cambridge who helped oversee the development of the defender at the Abbey Stadium.

“We always knew he’d be a player that would move on from us,” said United head coach Mark Bonner. “There was always a debate whether it could be to the Championship at the time and that was an option - there were possibilities there.

“But the move to MK Dons was a really sensible one for us. We cared for his development firstly and also the right deal for the club.

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“He’ll bounce on from there I’m sure. There will be huge interest in him from levels above because he’s got all the qualities you want in a young centre-half.

“He’s fast, he’s athletic, he can handle the ball, he can play in a back three or back four. He’s played a lot of football for his age. He can score - he’s added goals to his game this year.

“If I were a manager in a Championship club he’d certainly be one I’d be looking at and looking to bring in. It wouldn’t surprise me if that happened this summer because he’s in really good form and of real interest to a lot of those big clubs.”