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      Prolific midfielder enjoyed blistering loan spell

      Playmaker's EFL 72: #16 Dan Kemp

      2024/05/07 12:50

      We've whizzed through a fair portion of our 'Playmaker 72' countdown - and are now only a handful of profiles away from our prestigious 'Top 10'!   

      It's certainly been no easy task, but - just to clarify - our '72' is less a roll call of the best footballers in the EFL and more a tribute to those players who have enjoyed the most memorable seasons while racking up the most impressive stats.

      Whatever the criteria, we're confident in our selections of the most outstanding players through the Championship, League One, and League Two and welcome any debate on the subject!

      Next up, we have a climber from our previous 'Hall of Fame' - and arguably the EFL's hottest loan player over the past two seasons. 

      Number 16: Dan Kemp (Swindon Town/MK Dons)

      A sensational loan spell at a League Two side destined for relegation squeezed Dan Kemp into the last edition of the Playmaker 72 at Number 66, but he has charged up to the fringes of our 'Top 10' this season.

      It's worth noting that plenty of players who enjoy purple patches akin to Kemp's dazzling (if ultimately doomed!) stint with Hartlepool United last term then fail to kick on in the following campaign. The 25-year-old midfielder has not had this problem, however, even though he again had to make a name for himself away from parent club MK Dons. 

      Loaned to fourth-tier rivals Swindon Town, Kemp started the 2023/24 campaign in blistering fashion - his prolific partnership with another Robins loanee Jake Young yielding a sensational 32 goals, 16 apiece. 

      Speaking exclusively to Playmaker back in October, Kemp's sidekick spoke of the "chemistry" betwee the pair and their shared mission to perform away from their parent clubs. 

      Unsurprisingly, both Kemp and Young (Bradford City) were recalled by their parent clubs in January and while the latter's season was ended prematurely through injury, Kemp has played a part in MK Dons' promotion push under Mike Williamson. 

      Although Kemp has not exerted the same influence at Stadium MK since his return, he has still managed three goals and three assists to consolidate his status as one of the most productive performers in League Two this season. 

      In fact, only four players (Macaulay Langstaff, Davis Keillor-Dunn, Paul Mullin and Jodi Jones) have been involved in more L2 goals this season than Kemp (17 goals and 11 assists), and the former West Ham academy graduate is one of only five players in the division to record double figures for both goals AND assists this term. 

      An absolute terror from long range, Kemp hit five of his 17-goal haul from outside the penalty area (all of them at Swindon) - a dozen of his strikes coming courtesy of his cultured left foot. 

      Ranking joint-7th in the fourth tier for key passes (76), Kemp is a formidable creator and taker of chances - who has clinically outperformed his expected goals by 5.02xG this season across his spells at both Swindon and MK Dons. 

      Although his focus no doubt remains on helping the Dons navigate their way through the play-offs, Kemp is out of contract in the summer. 

      Should he leave the Buckinghamshire club as a free agent, there will surely be no shortage of suitors interested in Kemp's signature given his impressive output over recent seasons. 

      Playmaker's EFL 72...the countdown

      17: Joe Taylor 18: Eiran Cashin 19: Ali Al-Hamadi 20: Jack Clarke

      21: Isaac Olaofe 22: Carl Piergiani 23: Jaden Philogene 24: Alfie May

      25: Will Evans 26: Jamie Reid 27: Morgan Whittaker

      28: Conor Chaplin 29: George Thomason 30: Mickey Demetriou

      31: Stephy Mavididi 32: Marc Leonard 33: Josh Sheehan

      34: Matt Smith 35: Kwame Poku 36: Illan Meslier 37: Aden Flint

      38: Ronnie Edwards 39: Josh Sargent 40: Alex Gilbey 41: Ben Sheaf

      42: Jobe Bellingham 43: Devante Cole 44: Jacob Greaves 45: Paddy Lane

      46: Herbie Kane 47: Dan James 48: Archie Collins 49: Karamoko Dembele

      50: Haji Wright 51: Dan Crowley 52: Cameron Brannagan 53: Aaron Collins

      54: Andy Cook 55: Connor Shaughnessy 56: Jannik Vestergaard

      57: Willy Gnonto 58: Ellis Simms 59: Charlie Hughes 60: Fatawu Isshaku

      61: Sam Hoskins 62: Paul Mullin 63: Chris Martin 64: Omari Hutchinson

      65: Isaac Hutchinson 66: Sam Tickle 67: Ben Hinchcliffe 68: Michał Helik

      69: Lewis Wing 70: Rob Apter 71: Kyle Walker-Peters 72: Alex Palmer


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      2024-05-07 14h56m by jgibsonson
      Great article! The 'Playmaker 72' countdown is really heating up and I can't wait to see who makes the top 10. It's tough to choose just one standout player in the EFL, but these selections definitely deserve some recognition. Looking forward to the next profile!
      2024-05-07 14h24m by gkingsley
      As a football fan, I have to say that I am loving this &
      2024-05-07 14h13m by jwhiteheadbarnes
      As a football fan, I have to say I am loving this countdown of the top 10 players in the EFL. It's been a tough task to narrow it down to just 72 players, but these are the ones who have truly stood out with their impressive stats and memorable seasons. And I have to agree, this player has definitely been one of the hottest loan players in the EFL over the past two seasons. Can't wait to see who makes the top 10!
      2024-05-07 13h33m by eedwards
      Wow, what a fantastic countdown! Can't wait to see the final Top 10. But let's be real, it's not just about stats. It's about those unforgettable moments on the pitch. Keep up the great work!
      2024-05-07 13h07m by nlawson12
      As a football fan, I appreciate the gratitude tone in this article. It's clear that the writers have put a lot of thought and effort into their selections for the 'Playmaker 72' countdown. It's also refreshing to see them acknowledge that their list is subjective and open to debate. I'm excited to see who will make it into the top 10 and to continue discussing and debating the top players in the Championship, League One, and League Two. And congratulations to the climber


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