Dons want a ‘marquee signing’ in January

MK Dons V Colchester
MK Dons V Colchester

THE chairman may have to blow the dust off his chequebook this January with Karl Robinson looking for a ‘marquee signing’ to bolster his attacking options.

With the transfer window wide open once again, the Dons boss has admitted that he is looking for at least two and maybe even three players to add to his squad as they look to continue their fight for automatic promotion to get out of League 1 at the fourth time of asking.

With the departure of loan signings Mark Beevers and Angelo Balanta from stadium:mk this week, Dons’ already small squad is looking fairly bare and the manager wants to act quickly to get new faces into the club.

However, he admitted that it wouldn’t be a disaster if no-one new were to come through the door, stating that the side he has is more than capable of winning promotion.

He said: “I’m looking for two wingers and something different up front – a bit out of the box, someone who can head the ball and get on the end of crosses.

“But other than that, we’re strong. Our back four can’t be improved even though one fan thought it was a disgrace. Shaun Williams has proven he can play at centre back, Dean Lewington could walk into any team in this division and we’ve still got Tom Flanagan waiting in the wings for his chance in the first team again.

“In midfield, we’ve got two of the best central midfielders in the league in Stephen Gleeson and Darren Potter, but we might need a bit more pace down the left.

“And maybe someone that will be the marquee signing at the top end of the pitch. I’ve got to meet with the chairman and we will go through the ideas we have to help get us out of the league.”

In the last window, Robinson splashed the cash on Brentford striker Charlie MacDonald as an instant replacement for West Ham-bound Sam Baldock.

And the manager admits that he may be asking the chairman to spend a bit more of the estimated £2 million that Dons got in the Baldock deal.

“It’s a possibility, but we won’t be held to ransom over players,” Robinson said. “It has to be within the constraints of what we can afford.

“If we need to, we’ll get the chequebook out, but the loan market is just as good at the moment because the big teams have a lot of good players who they don’t want to lose to others around them.

“The fans will ask where the Sam Baldock money has gone – it has gone into a lot of things behind the scenes that will run the club for many years.

“The club was run at a loss for three years before I arrived here, so we’re not as affluent as many people might think, but it has gone into areas to keep the club running. I want to make sure the club is still running in 10 years.

“We could be a Leeds or a Sheffield United who have a dramatic fall from grace. We’re about longevity and success in the right way.”

Balanta’s departure from stadium:mk comes after he spent 18 months at the club. He suffered a long-term injury in November 2010 which ruled the Colombian out for nearly four months, but was delighted to remain with Dons for the first six months of this season, as was his manager.

However, since his loan has expired, Robinson says he has made enquiries about signing the winger on a more permanent basis but was left disappointed with Balanta’s parent club Queens Park Rangers for their valuation of the 21-year-old.

Robinson said: “It depends on QPR’s valuation of him. I’m disappointed in how they’ve valued him to a club that has paid his wages for 18 months and they still want a fee for him.

“I know the talent he has got but we need to talk to his agent. What QPR value him at is above and beyond what we can afford and I think it’s a little disrespectful to us.”