THE MK DONS are growing a reputation for bringing hot prospects through their academy.
Dele Alli is thriving at Tottenham after being developed in the MK Dons’ youth system, and the latest player tipped for big things is Callum Brittain.
But who is the 19-year-old that has been linked with a move to Spurs? We asked our friends at Football Whispers to profile the defender.
Born in Bedford, less than 20 miles from Milton Keynes, Brittain joined the Dons’ academy at a young age.
He signed his first professional deal with the club in April last year, and said that was due to success of previous academy graduates.
He said: “Seeing what players have gone on to do from here is definitely inspiring.
“It gives me the belief that if I can put in the hard work then it could be me playing professional football week-in, week-out.”
He was referring to the likes of Alli, Sam Baldock, Brendan Galloway and Sheyi Ojo, all former MK Dons academy products who have gone on to play in the Premier League.
There’s no doubt Brittain would want his name to be added to that list of successful Dons’ youth products.
Being a reported Tottenham and Chelsea transfer target will certainly give him a good chance of being so.
He still has a lot to prove, though, as the right-back has only been playing senior football for less than 18 months.
Despite coming through the Dons academy, it wasn’t in England where he made his first senior appearance.
After penning professional terms with the League One side, he headed to Iceland to spend three months with top-flight outfit Throttur Reykjavik.
Brittain made eight appearances in Iceland, including a man-of-the-match performance on his debut against Volsunger.
His spell in Iceland helped him grow as a player and when he returned to England, he became part of the first-team squad at Stadium MK.
He told BBC Sport: “It was a different experience but one that was worthwhile. I learned a lot in Iceland, not just in football but off the pitch as well.
“I wasn’t playing any real football at the time so just to go and experience some sort of first-team football was a great opportunity and something I wanted to do.
“I’d definitely recommend it to others.”
After returning from Iceland, Brittain made his senior debut for MK Dons in January, coming on as a late substitute in a 4-0 win at Peterborough.
He would go on to make seven more appearances during the 2016/17 campaign.
But this season he’s truly established himself in Robbie Neilson’s side.
After George Baldock left Stadium mk for Sheffield United, the Dons’ right-back slot was up for grabs and Brittain has taken his opportunity.
He’s made nine appearances so far this season and scored his first professional goal in a 1-1 draw with Oxford.
It’s no surprise he has netted as he’s definitely an attacking right-back, influenced by him originally starting out as a winger.
Brittain likes to overlap and run down the wing, causing problems for the opposition defence.
And his fine form this season saw him named EFL Young Player of the Month for September.
It’s not just in the Football League where he’s being recognised though, he’s also being noticed on the international stage.
He was called up to the England Under-20 squad earlier this month, earning his first two caps against Italy and Czech Republic.
The 5-1 win over Italy saw MK Dons man get two assists too.
Brittain said: “It was an unbelievable experience and one I won’t forget.
“Just to get out there and put on the shirt and to get some minutes was unbelievable.
“It was crazy, walking out, singing the national anthem. I was buzzing, it was a thrill to be out there playing for my country. It was crazy!”
And if he carries on attracting attention from the likes of Tottenham and Chelsea, there’s no reason he won’t be putting on the shirt for the senior team at some point in the future.