Lewis Johnson has put pen to paper on his first professional contract with MK Dons.
Johnson, 17, joined the Club on scholarship terms in August 2019, following his departure from Aston Villa where he had been since the age of 13.
The highly-rated young attacker, who grew up in Milton Keynes, has played nine games for Russell Martin’s first-team this season, including four appearances in Sky Bet League One.
He becomes the third Academy product to turn professional in 2020/21 and makes it eight Academy graduates in Russell Martin's first-team squad.
“It’s a great feeling,” Johnson told iFollow MK Dons after signing his first professional contract. “A lot of hard work has gone in to get to this point and I’m just grateful to the manager, all the staff here at MK Dons and my family too.
“The Club have been brilliant with me ever since I joined here from Aston Villa. Every member of staff and all my teammates have wanted me to succeed and helped me get to where I am now.
“I’ve become a much better player, and a person, for being with the first team this season too. I’ve grown so much and the aim now is to kick on, keep developing and hopefully help the team climb up the leagues.”
Manager Russell Martin told mkdons.com: “Lewis has certainly deserved this contract. He’s had a few opportunities with the first team this season and he’s taken his chance.
“He is another exciting young player that we wanted to commit to developing. He’s very versatile and can play in a number of positions. Physically and emotionally, he is very mature, especially for his age.
“There is still got a lot of work to do but he’s if he continues to show the same attitude, and continues to grow like he has already, then I have no doubts that he will get more opportunities.”
Jon Goodman, Academy Manager at MK Dons, added: “It’s vindication for the hard work that Lewis has put in during his short time with us.
“We missed him as a young player – he went and signed for Aston Villa after being in our SET (Sport and Education Trust) programme. Thankfully, though, he found his way back to us as an Under-16s and he’s flown since then.
“He has developed tremendously during his time with MK Dons and we are delighted for him and his family.
“This is just another example that we have a clear pathway that runs from the Academy through to the first-team, and a manager in Russell Martin who is brave enough to give minutes to Academy players."