MK Dons have their eyes on the automatic promotion places in League One, but sporting director Liam Sweeting and head coach Liam Manning need to have one eye on next season too.
The Dons have their hopes set on the second automatic promotion spot, currently occupied by Wigan Athletic. Manning’s side are in the form of their lives, losing just once in 2022, and are tailing league leaders Rotherham by just four points.
The difficulty of not knowing which division the side will be playing in next season is tough for all involved at MK Dons, however they must be looking ahead and preparing for all eventualities.
Here are three positions that MK Dons must look to bolster in the summer…
The Dons sold first-choice goalkeeper Andrew Fisher to Championship side Swansea City in January. They since replaced him with on loan Chelsea goalkeeper Jamie Cumming, however the 22-year-old will return to his parent club in the summer.
Dons would be left with Argentinian Franco Ravizolli between the sticks, who just nine months ago was playing in the sixth tier of English football with Eastbourne Borough.
If Chelsea are lifted of sanctions by the summer, Manning would certainly see Cumming as an option to come back to the club, however if his side aren’t promoted they will have to fight off plenty of Championship and potentially Premier League interest.
Dons have just one senior striker contracted going into next season in Mohamed Eisa, with Connor Wickham out of contract and Troy Parrott returning to Spurs. Eisa has the stats on his side this season however has struggled for consistency since joining the Dons for a supposed club-record fee in the summer.
The Dons were frustrated by the loss of star striker Max Watters in late December. The 23-year-old scored seven in 14 for the Dons and despite being recalled as cover for injury-struck Cardiff, has only made four appearances and is not enjoying his return to the Cardiff City Stadium. He would certainly be a good addition to Manning’s side this summer.
The Dons have also been linked with a return to the club for Salford City forward Brandon Thomas-Asante, who would suit the Dons’ system very well as a central or wide forward.
There are currently two options on the far-left of the Dons’ back-five, being 23-year-old Scot Daniel Harvie and 24-year-old Brandon Mason. It is likely an area that Manning will be looking to improve in.
The stats, according to WhoScored, show Harvie as being one of the Dons’ best players this season however his attacking abilities have let him down at times. If the Dons are to be playing in the Championship next season, left wing-back is certainly an area that requires improvement.