Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images

Sunderland missed out on a player with “real quality” when Scott Fraser joined League One rivals MK Dons last summer, Darren Bent has told the EFL on Quest Highlights Show (13 February, 9pm).

At last, the results are matching up to the quality of the football at Stadium MK.

Like a lower league Brighton, you could argue, Russell Martin’s team haven’t always got the rewards their pretty, passing philosophy has deserved.

Sean Dyche Joins Barcelona | Football Manager 2021 Experiment

Sean Dyche Joins Barcelona | Football Manager 2021 Experiment

But a run of six wins in nine games means a relegation battle now feels a distant memory. Fraser’s penalty-kick winner at promotion-chasing Hull City on Saturday lifted the Dons to within touching distance of the play-offs.

The Scottish schemer is proving one of this season’s most inspired signings, producing nine goals and five assists since arriving on a free transfer from Burton Albion.

And Sunderland fans could be forgiven for wondering if they would be a little closer to top spot had Fraser ended up at the Stadium of Light instead.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

“Scott Fraser has been superb. I trained with him a couple of times (at Burton) and he was probably the one who really impressed me,” says former Sunderland striker Bent.

“Inventive, nice left foot and he’s got an eye for goal, always looking to score. He’s the one with real quality in that squad.”

According to The Record, Sunderland held talks over a deal for Fraser before the 2020/21 season got under way.

But the introduction of a salary cap at League One level suddenly meant the Black Cats were forced to back away. Their loss, however, is most certainly MK Dons’ gain.

Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

In other news, 'Very underrated': England international says £29m Liverpool player is actually so good