BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Max Sanders is making no promises that he will be staying at AFC Wimbledon when the January transfer window opens.
The Dons have a number of players on loan- Brighton midfielder Sanders, West Ham goalkeeper Nathan Trott, Watford striker Michael Folivi, Brentford forward Marcus Forss and Rochdale defender Ryan Delaney.
Wimbledon manager Glyn Hodges has already admitted that the future of those players will dictate what business the League One club look to do at the start of 2020.
“I’m really enjoying it at Wimbledon and I’m playing every week,” said Sanders, 20. “I can’t give any detail [on whether Brighton will recall him]. Whatever I’ll be doing I’ll be playing in a first team.
“I wouldn’t want that to change, but I don’t know completely what is going on.
“I wouldn’t go back to play U23s. I did that for two years and I think I’ve moved on from that. Now having this first-team experience I want to be in the first-team wherever I go. That’s definitely the plan.
“Wimbledon has given me a good platform to play regularly, that’s the main thing. I don’t want that enjoyment to go.”
Sanders is out of contract at the end of June and admits there has been “a few conversations” with the Seagulls over his future.
“I’m just trying at the moment to find out what the best thing to do is,” he said. “The contract takes care of itself. It’s down to Brighton if they want to give me a contract or not.
“I just need to keep playing well for Wimbledon. That’s what I’ve been doing and that’s what I plan to continue to do.
“When I came here I didn’t play for the first few games but since I came into the team I haven’t come out of it. I’ve missed one league game due to a really small strain in my quad – it was a little niggle – and then I was straight back in after that.
“I feel like I’m properly part of the team and we’re doing a lot better than we were.”
Forss scored his 10th goal of the season for the Dons in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Doncaster. The fear is that the Finnish U21 international – who looks a cut above England’s third tier – could be recalled by the Bees.
“He has done really well and I’m sure he’s probably had a few conversations regarding that,” said Sanders. “But I think he’s really enjoying being at Wimbledon – playing and scoring goals. I don’t think he’d want that to taken away from him.
“He’s in a good place. Brentford are doing very well in the Championship so is he going to be starting every week for them? I don’t know completely what is going on.
“He’d be a big miss if he wasn’t at Wimbledon because he is our goalscorer and he’s doing very well for the team.”
Sanders is looking forward to his first taste of Christmas action at senior level. Wimbledon are at Bristol Rovers on Boxing Day.
“It will be good to see how I deal with that – the quick turnaround of games,” said Sanders.
“The team didn’t make the best of starts but in the last 10 matches we have won five of them [putting them sixth in a form guide for that period].
“When we have lost of late it has been to Blackpool and Peterborough, sides who are nearer to the top.
“We’re not making as many mistakes. We have got seven points from our last three games and it should be nine, because we conceded in the last minute at Bolton.
“Tranmere is a big game on Saturday. If we win that we can move ourselves to where we’re looking up the table much more than looking at what is below us.”
Sanders used to rent a place with Jayson Molumby before their respective loan moves.
The Republic of Ireland U21 international is impressing at Millwall.
“He’s got a flat in Bromley and I met up with him a few weeks back,” said Sanders. “They seem to be winning every week and he is doing well. It’s amazing when you consider he was out for something like 15 months with his injury – he’s worked so hard.
“He played a few U23 games at the end of last season and then hasn’t looked back with Ireland. It shows how quickly things can change – hats off to him.”
Wimbledon fans won’t want change when it comes to Sanders. Keeping hold of him will aid their climb away from trouble.
Photo by Keith Gillard
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