MJ Williams has completed his move from Wanderers to MK Dons.

The midfielder had spent two-and-a-half seasons with the Whites and made exactly 100 appearances in all competitions.

Signed in January 2021 after a short spell with Blackpool, the former Liverpool academy star made an immediate impact, helping Ian Evatt’s side race up the table in the second half of the season to clinch automatic promotion from League Two.

He established himself at the heart of Bolton’s midfield after their return to League One but struggled to hold down a regular spot in the first half of last season, finishing the campaign as an auxiliary centre-back in the play-off push.

His appearance at Bristol Rovers on the final day of the regular campaign triggered a one-year contract extension.

Williams was part of the plan this season but with Evatt looking to bring more midfielders into the squad, the club did not stand in the 27-year-old’s way when a good contract offer was forthcoming from MK, who will be looking to bounce straight back from last season’s relegation.

“Football evolves as clubs look to move on and strengthen,” said Wanderers boss Ian Evatt. “MJ is someone who has been brilliant for this football club. I have a lot of respect for him and he has a lot of respect for us.

“But if someone in his position is offered the chance of a longer contract and more minutes then we wish them well and hopefully he goes on to produce the goods for them.”

Starting a new chapter in his career, Williams said he hoped his own promotion experience with Bolton could help his new club.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” he told the MK website. “I spoke to the manager and it was a brilliant conversation. He wants promotion this season and that’s what I’ve come here for – hopefully I can add my experience and qualities to help us achieve that.

“This is a great club, who have had some great teams over the years. I think we have a good group of players here now, with some experience that the manager has added this summer. I’m looking forward to being a part of that.”

MK head coach Graham Alexander reckons Williams is exactly what the squad is missing if it wants to make a promotion charge this season.

“When I looked at the squad, we were missing a defensive-minded midfielder. Having seen MJ play for Bolton in a similar role, I’m confident he’ll give us that solid base at the back, as well as someone who can handle the ball well and contribute going forwards.

“Another thing we have been looking for in our recruitment this summer, where possible, is promotion winners – players who know what it takes to go the distance. MJ is somebody who has done that, from this division, just a couple of years ago.

“When I spoke to him, he was so motivated to come to this club. I got that enthusiasm from him straight away and it was clear he really wants to be here and help us be successful.”