Enigmatic Chuks Aneke leaves a big hole at Dons
Life after Chuks Aneke has begun for MK Dons.
Debate surrounding the future of the 25-year-old forward ended on Friday when he put pen to paper on a two-year contract with Championship side Charlton Athletic, bringing to an end his three year stint at Stadium MK.
Aneke made 94 appearances for the club, netting 33 goals, but the numbers only really tell half the story.
His first season was plagued by injury. Arriving from Belgium already injured, it was not until November that he made his first appearance for the club. He netted four goals in his opening campaign, but one of them - his second in a 4-0 win at Peterborough - will live long in the memory.
A giant figure, Aneke’s role was often mistaken for being a target man, but he was more than that. Deployed as the sole front man at times, his impact was dampened. Dropping deeper though, he could make his presence felt.
Solo goals, like his strikes away at Cambridge United and then at home to Yeovil last season were proof of his power and deft touch many may have overlooked.
He led the way in assists and goals when Dons were relegated from League One, but it was that season which sparked his desire to depart.
Apparently injured during August last season, while trying to hold out for a move away, Aneke threatened to rub fans the wrong way.
Something of an enigma in the lively Dons dressing room, Aneke would often warm-up alone and would show little affection to the fans. However, the numbers speak for themselves: he ended the season with 19 goals in 41 appearances as Dons secured promotion back to League One.
Paul Tisdale admitted last week the hunt for Aneke’s replacement had begun, and ticking all the boxes he leaves behind will be difficult, but offers Dons a real opportunity to change their style of play without the enigmatic Aneke.