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      Dan Kemp to leave MK Dons after sparkling season

      Where next for best loan player in 'The 92'?

      2024/05/28 15:27

      One of League Two's star performers during the 2023/24 season, Dan Kemp wants to transfer his scintillating loan form to a fixed address when his time at MK Dons comes to an end next month.

      After a dazzling loan stint at Hartlepool United back in the 2022/23 season, the former Chelsea academy kid was loaned out to Swindon Town at the start of this season and repeated the trick: scoring 16 goals and supplying eight assists in just 27 games for the Robins. 

      The 25-year-old attacking midfielder won Swindon's Player of the Season award at the end of the campaign and jumped 50 places in this season's 'Playmaker 72', but after returning to parent club MK Dons in January he is set to become a free agent when his contract expires at the end of next month. 

      "My loans allowed me to play regularly and show what I can do and 2023 was the best year of my career goals and assists wise.

      "I know exactly what type of player I am now and the conditions I need to enable me to play my best football."

      When pressed on how the past few seasons have helped crystallise how he perceives his game, Kemp doesn't skip a beat.

      "I've developed into a player who is really confident in and around the penalty area, and someone who is always looking to cause danger. 

      "I see myself as switched on and a player that understands different sides of the game. I love to be the one my team-mates look to to create.

      "I'm an exciting player who likes to get on the ball and I need a system that gives me the freedom to express myself and make things happen in the final third."

      Kemp (whose favourite goal this season was a sumptuous left-footer in a "mad" 5-5 draw with Wrexham) has certainly displayed an enviable knack for making things happen and although his goal and assist stats are the headliners, he posted plenty of other impressive numbers during the course of the 2023/24 campaign. 

      Ranking 13th in League Two for successful dribbles (50) and joint-seventh for key passes (76), Kemp excelled in progressing the ball into dangerous areas, and he notably out-performed his expected goals by a substantial 5.02xG in 2023/24  - only Notts County's Dan Crowley (8.02), Wrexham hotshot Paul Mullin (5.76) and Newport's Will Evans (5.6) with a better differential in this increasingly influential metric. 

      The former England youth international is a keen student of the data side of the game, and he admits that posting double figures for goals and assists this term was particularly pleasing. 

      "As an attacking player you'd be delighted to get 10 goals and 10 assists every year, and I'm happy to reach double figures for both - but I'm also really pleased with my key passes, as I like to take risks in the right areas and think one of my qualities is not being afraid to try and find those passes to create goals. 

      "I'm obsessed with my game. After every match I go through all my clips and look for areas I can improve, and over the last few years in particular I've been really interested in the data side of the game: the areas I'm scoring from, the key passes, my regains and my pressing."

      During his prolific stint at Swindon, Kemp forged an incredibly productive partnership with fellow loanee Jake Young - who he shared an apartment with - his telepathic connection with the Bradford City forward perhaps best illustrated by an improvised free-kick routine against Mansfield. 

      Kemp believes the close bond he shared with 'Youngy' at the County Ground was symptomatic of the dressing room culture created by then Robins manager Michael Flynn.

      "I loved my time at Swindon, the manager and his staff were amazing with me. They wanted me to come in, be myself and make an impact and it was a perfect fit. I've probably never felt better in my career, in terms of my confidence and way I was going into games really loving my football. 

      In addition to analysing his match data, it becomes clear during the course of our interview that Kemp is always looking for ways to enhance his game, and he admits that he relates to "impressive" Newcastle and England winger Anthony Gordon given his dedication to self-improvement. 

      "Over the past couple of seasons, I've prioritised the gym and developing myself as an athlete, and I also work closely with a psychologist. 

      "Mentally I'm probably in the best place I've ever been, in terms of knowing my game, where I thrive, where I can improve. 

      "Can I maximise everything off the pitch to enable me to become a better athlete? A better thinker? A better problem solver?

      "Ultimately, if you can add to your abilities off and on the pitch, all those 1%s are going to add up." 

      As mentioned, Kemp's contract with MK Dons expires at the end of June and there is likely to be no shortage of takers for the most productive attacking midfielder in the entire '92' in 2023/24 (excluding wingers!). 

      Now, the pound-for-pound best loan signing in English football over the past two seasons is focused on making the right career move this summer. 

      "I feel like the next stage of my career is massively exciting as I want to reach the next level. 

      "I will look at the offers and options available to me and make the best decision for what will be a key period in my career. 

      "I'm nowhere near the finished article; I think I've only scratched the surface of what I can do." 



      Would you like to comment? Just register!!
      2024-05-28 16h52m by lhalliday_bart
      Excited to see where Dan Kemp ends up next season! He's been on fire for the past two loan spells and I have no doubt he'll continue to impress wherever he goes.
      2024-05-28 16h19m by nlawson12
      Dear football fan,

      Wow, Dan Kemp has been on fire this season! His loan spells at Hartlepool and Swindon have been nothing short of scintillating. It's clear that he's a talented attacking midfielder and has a bright future ahead of him. Swindon must be so grateful to have had him in their ranks this season and it's no surprise he won their Player of the Season award. It's a shame he'll be a free agent soon, but I have
      2024-05-28 16h00m by omitchellsonjones
      Come on Dan, you can do it!

      Wow, Dan Kemp has been a revelation in League Two! With 16 goals and 8 assists, he definitely deserves Swindon's Player of the Season award. Can't wait to see where he ends up next.
      2024-05-28 15h47m by jwhiteheadbarnes
      Dan Kemp is a true talent on the pitch and it's been a pleasure watching him play for MK Dons this season. His loan stints at Hartlepool United and Swindon Town have clearly helped him develop into a star performer in League Two. It will be a shame to see him go, but I have no doubt he will continue to shine wherever he goes. Best of luck, Dan!


      banderson1976 20-06-2024, 00:10
      nlawson12 20-06-2024, 00:00
      gkingsley 19-06-2024, 23:40
      hturnerford 19-06-2024, 23:34
      sjacksons_9_2_1 19-06-2024, 23:06
      lhalliday_bart 19-06-2024, 21:33
      nlawson12 19-06-2024, 21:24
      banderson1976 19-06-2024, 21:17
      a_12_shawcross 19-06-2024, 20:40
      eyoungs8 19-06-2024, 20:38
      nlawson12 19-06-2024, 20:24
      jgibsonson 19-06-2024, 20:06
      dnelsons 19-06-2024, 19:48
      awalkerson7 19-06-2024, 19:43
      sparkerfield 19-06-2024, 19:41
      omitchellsonjones 19-06-2024, 19:24