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In focus: Aaron Tshibola

Get to know MK Dons' newest signing...

27 July 2017

Tshibola began his career with Reading, signing professional terms at the Madejski Stadium in March 2011 at the age of just 16.

The following year, he broke into the Royals’ reserve side and during the 2012/13 campaign he made 22 appearances in Premier League 2, scoring two goals.

Tshibola also spent time with England Under-18s that season and made his Young Lions debut in a friendly with Belgium in March 2013.

In 2013/14, he remained a key part of the Reading development group, adding a further 17 games and three goals to his tally.

Tshibola was rewarded for his good form at reserve level by being named in the first-team’s matchday squad on three occasions during the season, although he’d have to wait until August 2014 to make his first senior appearance for Reading.

That debut – a substitute appearance against Nottingham Forest – came four games into the 2014/15 campaign and while it proved to be his only showing for the Royals that season, he did play 23 times for League Two outfit Hartlepool United during a four-month loan spell at Victoria Park.

While with Pool, Tshibola was credited with four assists and his performances helped the North West club climb out of the relegation zone and secure their EFL status.

Having impressed out on loan, the midfielder returned to Berkshire eager to break into the first-team squad and during the 2015/16 season he featured 16 times for the Royals, including 12 Sky Bet Championship appearances – a total which could have been greater if not for a spell on the sidelines due to injury.

After the season, Tshibola was subject of interest from Championship newcomers Aston Villa and in July he made the move to the Midlands for what was reported to be a fee in the region of £5 million.

He started the 2016/17 campaign in good form and bagged his first Villians goal in September – a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Newcastle United.

However, the managerial change at Villa Park saw Tshibola’s match-time in the Midlands limited so he joined Nottingham Forest on loan in January 2017 and during his time at the City Ground he made four appearances, taking his season total to 14.

Now, heading into the 2017/18 season as part of Robbie Neilson’s Dons squad, Tshibola will be hoping to get back to playing regular football as well as helping the men from MK1 compete at the top end of Sky Bet League One.

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