Dons to lose Jennings and Banton when loans expire

Dale Jennings will go back to Barnsley
Dale Jennings will go back to Barnsley

Dale Jennings and Jason Banton have played their last games for MK Dons.

The wingers will return to parent clubs Barnsley and Crystal Palace respectively, and won’t be part of the FA Cup third round game with Wigan on Saturday.

While Banton’s departure doesn’t come as much of a shock, having not played since the second round win over Dover when he was replaced at half time, Jennings’ return comes as a blow to manager Karl Robinson.

Former Dons boss Danny Wilson took over at Oakwell three weeks ago, and wants to cast his eye over Jennings before making any further decisions about his future.

And the decision to recall him is one that has disappointed Robinson.

He said: “We spoke to Dale and his agent late last night (Wednesday), and he’s disappointed because he wanted to stay here.

“But Barnsley, under a new manager, have recalled him and want to have a look at him. It’s not for me to say whether that’s right or wrong.

I” felt I got the right players in in the summer, with Patrick (Bamford) and I fought hard to get Dale here, and it eventually happened.

“He’s a special young talent and someone who I feel is a wonderful player.

“But he’s going to be recalled and they will assess him. The loan will be cut.

“I feel I’m losing two of the players who have been very influential in the month of December.

“Every time I build a team, I seem to be losing players. One day, I’ll have the opportunity to keep the best players for a longer period.”

On Banton, Robinson said: “Jason Banton will go back to Crystal Palace. We’ll have meetings with all the loan players.

“Jason shows flashes of why we got him in. He understands, he knows where he has to improve.

“I won’t be taking him to Wigan. I want to take the players I know I’m going to keep, other than Patrick because I don’t have any other strikers! It’ll be a squad of our players.”

While Robinson admitted he wants to extend the loan of Samir Carruthers from Aston Villa, Dons fans could also have seen the last of defender Jordan Spence. On loan from West Ham, the centre back, who has filled in alongside Shaun Williams in the absence of Antony Kay, could be seen as surplus to requirements, freeing up funds to bring in players in other areas.

Robinson said: “Jordan is someone I’d like to keep hold of but a lot of things have to be discussed.

“But we have Antony Kay back fit, we have Tom Flanagan and Shaun Williams. It’s not a position I can afford to have four players.

“It’s not an area I’m worried about drastically, there’s other parts of the club I need to get right first.

“We will have to free up funds somewhere.”

This means January, already a busy month for the club with seven games being played, will be just as hectic off the field as Robinson works to bring in new faces.

But he says he already has irons in the fire, and hopes the next few weeks will be productive.

He said: “From here, we have an awful lot to do to fill in the void of some very talented individuals. I’ve already made one or two phonecalls, I’m already trying to do one or two things.

“Hopefully, we can bring in players with just as much calibre.

“Certain clubs at this level don’t lose their players and we’re not one of them. We have to be very proactive in the transfer market.

“Hopefully in the next few weeks, we can pull one or two things out of the bag that surprise a few people.

“I have a few things in my mind, and I’ve got a few things in the air. If I can pull off the one I want to, I’ll be very excited about where we go, but it’s if we can pull it off.

“There’s a lot of things that have to be right before that can happen.”