As exclusively revealed by TheRealEFL’s Ryan Whelan earlier this afternoon, Swindon Town are interested in signing MK Dons playmaker Dan Kemp on a season-long loan deal, but what would he bring to the club?
The 24-year-old spent the second half of the 2022/23 campaign with Hartlepool United, where he played a starring role despite the club’s relegation to the National League and it appears as though he is out of favour at Stadium MK.
Swindon Town have already retained the services of experienced striker Charlie Austin as work under Michael Flynn continues ahead of the 2023/24 League Two season.
The playmaker began his professional career with Chelsea, before joining West Ham United as a teenager in 2018. Kemp enjoyed two successful loan spells in the EFL, with both Stevenage and Blackpool as well as featuring heavily for West Ham’s U21s.
In January 2021, Kemp signed for Leyton Orient for an undisclosed fee, contributing to 13 goals in 49 appearances. However, his impressive individual performances led to a move to MK Dons for an undisclosed fee.
Unfortunately, Kemp fell second fiddle to Scott Twine at Stadium MK and struggled to gain a consistent run of first-team action. This led to him joining Hartlepool on loan in January 2023, where he scored nine goals in 16 games as well as providing a further two assists.
Kemp has now attracted the services of Swindon Town ahead of a possible summer transfer, but what can he bring to the League Two side next season?
It may sound boring but versatile players see becoming more and more in-demand in the modern-day game and there’s a good reason for it.
Kemp can operate as an attacking midfielder, winger or centre forward which makes him a tactical nightmare for opposition managers because he is a difficult player to stop as you never know which role he is going to take up.
His versatility also adds to the attacking quality which the League Two side could have next season, as he can essentially do the job of two signings for the price of one.
Goals from midfield
In the lower leagues of English football, having forward options (aside from strikers) that can score goals can be the difference between competing for promotion and settling for mid-table.
Kemp contributed to 11 goals in just 16 games for a struggling Hartlepool United side last season, which could suggest that a better side would allow Kemp to further excel next season.
Amongst that run was a hat trick for Hartlepool as they beat Grimsby Town 4-1, with all of the goals coming as an attacking midfielder. These goals can make a significant difference for the League Two side next season.
It sounds like a cheap positive but signing a player who is full of confidence has a major effect on both the player and his teammates upon joining a new side.
The 24-year-old will be eager to get started at Swindon Town, should a deal go through and his confidence will almost certainly rub off on his teammates.
Swindon Town are under a new lease of life on the pitch under Michael Flynn, ahead of a difficult 2023/24 League Two campaign, but having someone full of confidence is always a major advantage for the first few matches of the season.
Jack Payne replacement
Swindon Town suffered a huge loss last summer as Jack Payne departed for League One side Charlton Athletic on a free transfer, but it appears as though Swindon have found their replacement.
Kemp has a similar style of play to Jack Payne and both players are also of similar height and build, therefore making Kemp a like-for-like replacement.
Jack Payne was a successful player for Swindon Town and his absence has definitely been felt but securing a player with the qualities that Kemp has could prove vital for the League Two side.
Overall I think this would be a brilliant signing for Swindon Town if they can get a deal confirmed. He will add plenty of goals, assists and an overall improvement to the quality of the club’s attack next season.