Milton Keynes Dons completed the signing of Bradley Johnson on Friday, after the midfielder’s deal expired at Blackburn Rovers this summer.
The 35-year-old has been one of the best players in his position in the Championship over the years, and he made his presence known in the Premier League with Norwich City.
Liam Manning has assembled a very youthful squad at Stadium MK, and therefore the former Leeds United engine roomer should provide valuable experience as the Dons target promotion from League One.
Johnson took to Instagram to express his emotions after getting the move over the line.
He wrote: “I’m a DON…..
“Delighted to sign for @mkdonsfc
“Can’t wait to get started!!!
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There will be a lot of competition for places in central midfield at Stadium MK this season coming, and after only managing eight league starts in the second tier last season, it feels unlikely that Johnson will be a regular starter.
Dean Lewington, Josh McEachran, Mo Eisa, Will Grigg and Johnson are the only players in the squad above the age of 25, and it will be interesting to monitor the tough-tackling midfielder’s influence both on and off the pitch.
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The Dons came so close to sealing automatic promotion last season, but are on the rebuild this summer having lost Scott Twine, Harry Darling and David Kasumu to Championship clubs.
With the intimidating squads that Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town are putting together at the moment, and Twine taking his goalscoring contribution elsewhere, even though they have a very repeatable process under Manning, a top two finish could be even more difficult this time around.
Louie Barry and Nathan Holland should be able to chip in with regularity, but there will be a transition period as new key players emerge.