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Don Deal: Jonathan Leko becomes first January signing

Jonathan Leko joins from Birmingham City for an undisclosed fee...

13 January 2023

MK Dons have completed the signing of Birmingham City forward Jonathan Leko for an undisclosed fee.

Leko, 23, becomes the Club’s maiden addition in the January Transfer Window and the first since the appointment of Mark Jackson as Head Coach.

The former England youth international has tallied 137 senior appearances across his time with West Bromwich Albion, Bristol City, Charlton Athletic and Birmingham, and has been directly involved in 21 goals.

“I’m really pleased to be here,” Leko said in an exclusive first interview with iFollow MK Dons. “I’ve been aware of the interest for a while so I’m glad it’s done and I’m excited to get started.

“This is a good club and I know we like to play a good style of football so I think this is a great fit for me. I’m willing to get on the ball and beat players, and hopefully I can score some goals too!

“I know the position we find ourselves in but I know a couple of wins can change everything. Hopefully I can come in and help us towards that.”

Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Leko moved to England at the age of eight and joined the West Bromwich Albion Academy just three years later. He made his senior debut for the Baggies in September 2015, before making his top-flight bow later that season at the age of just 16 years and 344 days.

Turning professional in summer 2016, Leko went on to make 23 appearances for West Brom across the next four seasons, while also enjoying loan spells in the Championship with Bristol City and Charlton Athletic.

Leko left the Hawthorns in 2020 to join Birmingham City for an undisclosed fee and played 34 times in his debut campaign with the Blues. He then re-joined Charlton on loan in 2021/22, contributing to six goals in 30 appearances for the Addicks in League One last term.

The forward returned to St. Andrews in the summer but has been limited to just nine games so far this season – a total he will, no doubt, add to during the remainder of the 2022/23 campaign, and then beyond.

Sporting Director Liam Sweeting: “We are delighted to welcome Jonathan to MK Dons. He is a player we identified early for this transfer window and we have been working hard to bring him here on a permanent basis.

“His attributes are an excellent fit for the profile of a wide player in Mark’s system and he is certainly someone that will bolster our attacking options, not only to help us in the short term but in the years to come as well.

“Everyone we spoke to about Jonathan praised his character and the fact he has committed to us beyond this season shows the belief he has, not only in us as a Football Club, but himself and what he can achieve here at Stadium MK.”

Head Coach Mark Jackson added: “Jonathan was one of our top targets entering this window and he is someone we believe will really enhance the squad.

“He is a player with experience, particularly at this level, but also a player with high potential, and his character and ability make him an ideal fit for us at MK Dons.

“From speaking to him, it is clear he is an ambitious and determined individual and we are confident he is the right person and right player to add to his group.”


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