David Kasumu has put pen to paper on his first professional contract with MK Dons.
The Bletchley-based midfielder, who joined the Club at the age of 13, has signed a one-and-a-half year deal with the option of a further 12 months, which will allow him to continue his development with the Dons.
Kasumu completed the deal pitchside at Stadium MK ahead of the Boxing Day fixture with Plymouth Argyle.
Speaking to iFollow MK Dons, the 18-year-old said: “I’m very happy. It’s every boys dream to turn professional so I am very excited.
“I’m thankful to everyone who has helped me along the way – all the Under-18s staff, who have helped me on a day-to-day basis and the gaffer too for giving me this opportunity. My family are also very important to me and I want to make them proud.”
He continued: “I just want to keep working hard to be the best footballer I can be – the hard work certainly doesn’t stop now.”
Kasumu made his first-team debut for the Dons in the EFL Cup victory over Newport County back in August 2016. He featured again in the Checkatrade Trophy tie against Stevenage earlier this season.
Manager Robbie Neilson said: “We’re pleased to get David signed up because he’s a big prospect for the Club.
“First and foremost, he’s got a really good attitude – he works extremely hard and he’s committed to being a football player. He’s got great energy to get about and it’s important in today’s game that you have that fitness and pace. On top of all that, he’s got great ability, including a good range of passing.
“He’s still got a long way to go and this is going to be a big year for him. He’s progressed a lot over the last six months, playing Under-18s and Under-23s football while also getting a taste with the first team, so that will continue until the end of the season and then we’ll re-assess him to see if he’s ready to become a more regular fist team player.”
The energetic midfielder has also played in an important role in helping the Under-18s reach the Fourth Round of the FA Youth Cup and top their Youth Alliance League table, while he’s been a regular fixture for the Under-23s.
Senior Phase Development Coach Edu Rubio added: “We’re very happy for David and his family. He’s managed expectations extremely well, which is ultimately something he will need to do throughout his career.
“This is another step in his progression. Just because he’s got that professional contract, doesn’t mean that he’s made it – his next challenge is to make an impact with the first team and find a way to get into the squad.
“He has displayed the consistency needed to warrant a professional contract and the more he trains with the first team and plays an important role with the Under-23s, the readier he will be to make an impact for Robbie.”
Rubio continued: “It’s also a proud moment for the Academy and the Club – we are very proud of that clear pathway between the Academy and the first-team and this is another example of that.”