MK DONS boss Karl Robinson admits he would jump at the chance of re-signing loan midfielder Adam Clayton – but fully expects him to have a big future at Leeds United next season.
The 22-year-old spent a productive final few months of the 2010-11 campaign on loan at Stadium:mk, particularly impressing in the Dons’ hugely unlucky League One play-off semi-final loss to promoted Peterborough United.
Clayton – who made just four brief substitute appearances for United last term following his eve-of-season arrival from Manchester City – also spent a two-month temporary stint at Posh last term.
But Robinson is tipping the Mancunian for big things at Elland Road in 2011-12.
Robinson told the YEP: “If the opportunity ever came up again, I’m sure I’d be on the phone to Simon (Grayson) and Ian (Miller) to bring him back. But I’m sure he’s going to be a massive part of Leeds United’s push to get to the Premiership. He was a credit to Leeds United and I’m sure the kid is going to be a very talented footballer.
“With us in League One, he was one of the better players in this division. People in League One can jump up; look at the players Millwall, Norwich and Leeds had in League One and all had tremendous seasons last year.
“Most leading players from League One can step up and I’m sure Adam can do that as well.”
Delighted to capture Clayton, who memorably scored a 94th-minute winner in the 3-2 home win over old side Carlisle on April 9, at the second time of asking, Robinson added: “When he was on loan from Man City, I saw him at Carlisle and he destroyed us in one game and when he went to Leeds, I thought it was an opportunity to really kick on with Leeds doing so well with some quality players.
“So when he went to Peterborough (on loan), I was gutted to have missed him!
“I had Stephen Hughes on loan from Norwich, but he went back for their run-in and I then found out Adam was available again and we brought him in. At the time, we had Peter Leven playing and he was man of the match week-in, week-out and Adam had to wait for his chance.
“But it came along when Peter broke his foot in the last few games. He came on and he scored the winner late on in one game and right away, he endeared himself to the fans.
“We play two defensive midfielders and he found that hard at first because he’s full of energy. But in terms of our team shape, he listened and took everything on board.
“He was magnificent and then he went onto to play in the two play-off games and I thought in the first game, he was outstanding.
“He’s a lovely lad as well. Obviously with me being from Liverpool and him from Manchester, we had that rivalry! But as a manager, he was a pleasure to work with.
“All I can do is wish him all the luck in the world and Leeds United as well as the way they conducted themselves in the deal was magnificent.”
Meanwhile, United have been linked with a move for Dundee United left-back Barry Douglas – according to reports.