MK Dons have signed experienced midfielder Bradley Johnson on a free transfer.
Johnson, 35, arrives at Stadium MK after leaving Blackburn Rovers last month and becomes the Club’s 11th new addition ahead of the 2022/23 season.
The central midfielder has made 592 career appearances since making his debut for Cambridge United in December 2004. The large majority of those games have come either in the Premier League or the Championship for the likes of Leeds United, Norwich City, Derby County and, most recently, Blackburn.
Johnson has achieved promotion from each EFL division during his career, including Championship play-off success with Norwich City in 2014/2015 - a season he was awarded the Club’s Player of the Year award.
“I’m delighted to be here,” Johnson said in his first interview with iFollow MK Dons. “We have been speaking for a while but I’m glad to get it over the line and done so I can look forward to getting started with the squad.
“I was excited by the project I was presented by Liam Sweeting and the Gaffer and it was something that ticked all the boxes for me. Now I need to get myself up to speed so I can play a part in that.
“I am realistic about where I am at in my career but I know what I can still bring to the Club. I am a team player who will give 100% every time I put on the shirt. Hopefully I can pass on my experience to help a young team off the pitch, but I also want contribute on the pitch with my performances.”
Born in Hackney, Johnson began his career with Arsenal before joining Cambridge United’s Academy, with whom he made his senior debut as a 17-year-old in December 2004.
Johnson moved to Northampton Town the following season and during his time at Sixfields made 61 appearances while also helping the Cobblers achieve promotion to League One. He also spent time on loan with Gravesend & Northfleet and Stevenage.
In January 2008, the midfielder was the subject of a transfer to Leeds United. He would go on to spend three years at Elland Road, totalling 140 games as well as enjoying the second promotion of his career in 2010, when Leeds reached the Championship.
Johnson left Leeds upon the expiry of his contract in June 2011 and joined Premier League Norwich City on a three-year deal. In his four years at Carrow Road, the midfielder featured over 150 times - the majority in the top tier - aside from one season back in the Championship where the Canaries achieved promotion via the play-offs.
On transfer deadline day in September 2015, Johnson was signed by Derby County for a club-record fee. Scoring his first goal against MK Dons, he would spend four campaigns with the Rams, totalling 140 appearances, before joining Blackburn Rovers in July 2019.
Johnson has been at Ewood Park up until this past month, during which time he was played 86 games – all but four of which were made in the Championship.
Sporting Director Liam Sweeting said: “Having met with Bradley and discussed the role we have at the club, it became really clear that he would bring, not only substantial experience to our young group, but also a driven personality that is keen to be part of what we are trying to achieve here.
“I’m delighted we have been able to add him to the group and I look forward to working with him.”
Head Coach Liam Manning added: “Bradley brings a wealth of experience to a young group but, most importantly, he still has plenty to offer on the pitch.
“He has been a part of several successful teams during his career and certainly knows what it takes to win and produce high-level performances on a consistent basis. That will be invaluable us for this season.”