Giorgio Rasulo could be the next midfield maestro for MK Dons but he need to step up his progression if he’s to succeed, according to his manager.
Bursting onto the scene as a striker two years ago, the 18-year-old drew mixed reviews playing in a new, deeper role against Leyton Orient on Tuesday night - the role left by Tottenham-bound Dele Alli in the summer.
But while some felt he performed admirably in the centre of the park, one critical voice came from Karl Robinson.
“A lot of people thought he played well on Tuesday - I don’t think he did,” said the Dons boss. “You have to be top every week, regardless whether you’re 18.”
Having started out as a striker, Rasulo has been gradually dropping back from the front line. Having played the majority of his substitute appearances in the hole behind the leading striker, Rasulo is not being trained as a central midfield player.
But with a new role comes new responsibility, and if he wants to play in the Championship with Dons, Robinson insists he has to be cruel to be kind to Rasulo
“The deeper role is where we feel he’ll be better. We’ll bring him through in a different way.
“I’m being strict on him at the moment. I was quite harsh on him, but he’s going to be a top, top player. You can’t just be good any more.
“He’s as talented as any of (the previous central midfield players at MK Dons) and he’s hungry for success. Once you have that talent and hunger, I’m not going to apologies for being strict. He won’t like me for it, but he doesn’t need to thank me for it either. In a few years he’ll understand.”