Luke McCormick, Bristol Rovers, AFC Wimbledon and the expensive decision Joey Barton must make

Dons midfielder was linked with a Rovers return at the weekend but should the Gas fork out?

<p>Luke McCormick of AFC Wimbledon shoots.</p>

Luke McCormick of AFC Wimbledon shoots.

Bristol Rovers were linked with their former midfielder Luke McCormick at the weekend.

Transfer guru Alan Nixon explained that the Gas are weighing up a move for the 23-year-old but with two years to run on his contract, it would not be an easy purchase for the Pirates to make.

AFC Wimbledon would take some compensating for one of their best players of the 2021/22 season.

McCormick was on loan with Rovers for the 2020/21 campaign and was impressive as he grabbed six goals in 40 appearances despite the club’s relegation.

And though it may be difficult to prise the versatile midfielder away from Johnnie Jackson’s team, despite the drop to League Two, at least Joey Barton and co would be fully aware of what they were investing in, if a deal could be agreed.

McCormick played in eight different positions across the full width of midfield for the south west London side last season, according to statistics from WhoScored.com.

That versatility would be very useful, while Barton would have the advantage of already knowing what makes the player tick.

Don’t underestimate knowing a player’s character. Clubs spend vast amounts of money to find out what interests a player and what their background and character is like. It’s all to aid the recruitment process and reduce the chance of wasting resources.

And with that sound insight, Rovers would know exactly what they would be getting here.

That would be a Chelsea-schooled midfielder who is better than the waify box-to-box man who arrived from Stamford Bridge two summers ago.

McCormick grabbed more goals in fewer minutes with AFC Wimbledon last season, playing his best football from the left wing and statistically standoing out for his crossing and ball retention, as per Opta match stats.

In fact, the Suffolk-born grabbed seven assists to two last year, compared with the season before, and also marginally set up more chances per game too.

His passing accuracy rose and he crossed the ball in League One last season, even if he dribbled more per game for Rovers.

Better the Pirate you know than risking expenditure on another midfielder who may not fit into the dressing room or show their talents on a ground where McCormick has already done well?