Ojo would have been a Dons star, says Robbo

Sheyi Ojo
Sheyi Ojo

While most Dons fans will be keeping a firm eye on striker Benik Afobe, Karl Robinson will be watching another Wolves man with a tinge of ‘what might have been.’

Sheyi Ojo left stadium:mk for Liverpool in 2011 as a hotly tipped 14-year-old for a fee believed to be in the region of £2 million.

After a loan spell with Wigan earlier this year, Ojo, now 18, was snapped up Wolves for a season-long loan in the Championship.

But had he stayed with Dons, Robinson believes Ojo would have had a team built around the likes of him, Dele Alli and Brendan Galloway.

“I felt if he stayed, I saw him to be the next one,” said Robinson. “We knew he was going to be a top player. I felt we could build a team around him, with Danny Collinge, Brendan Galloway and of course Dele.

“He went to Liverpool, he went backwards for a while but now he’s on the up again. He ticks a lot of boxes, but it’s now down to whether he can cope with the demands of being a professional footballer.

Benik Afobe

Benik Afobe

“At that time, it was a tremendous move for us. We’d sold Sam Baldock the year before, and it was much needed for us.

“He went for millions as a young kid though, so it would have been risky for us to keep him.”

While he admits keeping hold of Ojo was good for business, Robinson had little say in keeping hold of Afobe last season.

The popular front man scored 19 times for Dons in his five months at stadium:mk, ensuring he’d be remembered as a firm fans-favourite.

And Robinson has emphasised how important it is to keep the striker quiet if they are to leave Molineux on Saturday with any points.

“He’s a top striker, and there’s a reason Wolves paid million for him,” Robinson added. “We weren’t the only people who saw that.

“But it’s massively important that we stop him. I think Dicko being out will be huge for them too. They’ve got some extremely gifted young players.”

And though it is wishful thinking, Robinson feels Dons would have cantered to the League 1 title last season had be been able to keep hold of Afobe in January, and would be far more comfortable in the Championship had he held on to the striker and good friend Dele Alli.

“Yes, I do,” said the manager. “And if we’d had him and Dele this year, we’d be in the top half. It’s hard for me to take, but there isn’t a team in the country to have gone through what we have.”