Welsh international George Williams has joined the growing list of players to return to MK Dons on loan.
The 19-year-old Fulham striker has rekindled his relationship with Karl Robinson’s squad to join for the rest of the season, after leaving stadium:mk back in 2012.
He goes straight into the squad to face Colchester on Tuesday night.
Robinson said: “I remember when George first came into the first team at 15, and he looked every bit a goal scorer. I’m really excited by it, and I think he can give us something different.
“We’re just looking forward to welcoming him home, and hopefully benefiting from the fruits of their labour.
“When you look at what some of the youngsters have achieved since leaving here, and we’re immensely proud of what they’ve achieved, but it’ll be great for him to achieve something with us.
“He’s a great kid with tremendous potential. He’s excited by it as well. He still sees it as home, and he’s just as excited as us.”
Williams’ departure two and a half years ago was a shock to many at MK Dons after the promising start to his career.
And for Robinson, it was a real blow to lose a player he felt could have stepped up to the first team in almost no time.
“I was devastated when he left,” said the Dons boss. “I felt he had all the components to be a top striker. And we weren’t wrong.
“I watched him play for Wales, and thought ‘wow, he’s really starting to develop’ and for Fulham, I knew he was a top player.
“This was an opportunity we were given. Fulham trust us with his development, and I think he’s a real good’un. We’ll welcome him home with open arms.
“He’s Dele’s best mate, and the theory between them was that he’d come back and pay a debt to the club that gave him the chance.”
Williams made his debut as a 16-year-old, and in scoring against Nantwich Town in the FA Cup, became Dons’ youngest ever goal-scorer.
After making appearances against Yeovil and Hartlepool later that season, Williams, from Newport Pagnell, was offered a professional deal at the club, but opted to move to Fulham, then a Premier League side.
Since then, Williams has worked his way through the ranks at Craven Cottage and has earned himself a call up to the Wales squad for the European Championship qualifiers.
Williams joins a growing list of players who have left for pastures new, only to make a return later in their careers.
Keith Andrews returned to stadium:mk after eight years away last month, Dele Alli completed a move to Tottenham on transfer deadline day and was loaned back, goalkeeper David Martin is a first team regular, while Izale McLeod and Jason Puncheon have all made reappearances in Dons’ shirts after departing.
And that’s a positive sign for the club, according to Robinson.
He said: “With Keith Andrews coming back, Dele Alli returning to us on loan, and now George Williams - it shows we do have a history now. Players leave but want to come back. And people say never come back...”