Darren Potter is back to his best in the centre of MK Dons’ midfield, according to his manager Karl Robinson.
The 29-year-old defensive midfielder missed the last four months of last season after surgery on his Achilles, and was eased back into the team through pre-season.
After a spectacular performance in the centre of the park against Coventry on Saturday, he, with teenage protégé Dele Alli, looked in total control against Manchester United on Tuesday in the 4-0 win.
And after those two matches, Robinson believes Potter is back to his best again.
“He has been on another planet in the last three games. He’s one the fans really like. They know what he does, they’re not asking him to go out and score goals - he’s a cog in what we do, he’s a link to everything we do, one that we can’t do without.
“We missed him so much last season, and it was obvious.
“He’s taken the vice captain’s role really well, very personally.
“Potter struggled with his achilles last season, so he had been playing with a lot of pain before we went for surgery. He had been struggling for six months. He missed the first three weeks of pre-season, so he was drip fed into games.
“He’s so strong in the tackle, he never backs out of an aerial challenge, he has, probably a 90 per cent completion rate. People say he needs to add assists and goals, but Makelele didn’t have to. But he scores more goals than most defensive midfielders.
“He’s the perfect MK Dons number 6, even though we wears number 8.”
And with his midfield purring nicely, Robinson believes his side are now gelling well together for the first time, having peaked last season individually.
He said: “I think they blossomed individually last year, but never together because of injuries.
“We lost Patrick Bamford, Reeves was great when Potter was out, Daniel Powell was injured, Dean Bowditch. Now they’re all fit, and playing together, they’ll only get better.
“We’re a good team. We’re playing really well.”