Exclusive: Waghorn takes financial hit to force Millwall move

© Actionplus
© Actionplus

MARTYN Waghorn will take a financial hit to join Millwall on loan today.

The Leicester City striker was so eager to play for the Lions that he waived the appearance bonus in his contract to push through the three-month deal.

The move, which will be signed off after training this morning, would not otherwise have been possible.

Waghorn, who could be handed his first Millwall start against Derby County on Saturday, insisted last night that his decision to help with the finances was a no-brainer.

He said: “I did it because of my love for the game.

“I wanted to get back playing as quickly as possible; I could have waited two or three weeks for something else to pop up, or dragged out negotiations, but playing football is what I enjoy doing most.

“It is not all about the money – I have a short time to prove what I can do and I didn’t have any second thoughts about it.”

Manager Steve Lomas, who has been tracking Waghorn since July, when he had an offer to buy the 24-year-old turned down, added: “Martyn wants to play – money isn’t everything.

“He needs to come here and prove what a good player he is. It’s hard for anyone who trains every week but then doesn’t play on a Saturday.”

And Waghorn admitted the Lions’ persistent interest in him, dating back to Kenny Jackett’s tenure, had been flattering.

“A few other clubs were keen but Millwall wanted to get it done quickly as possible, and that was really important to me,” he said. “They had shown a lot of interest and it was nice to feel really wanted.

“It has been a continuous thing with Millwall, they’ve always been in there and I’m glad to repay that by deciding to move here.”

Jackett, now head coach at Wolves, saw a deal to sign Waghorn collapse on transfer deadline day earlier this month.

“Kenny was very keen to take me on loan last season and recently there has been some interest from him,” the striker revealed.

“Once the window closed, I felt I needed a loan move to get my match sharpness back up to the levels I know I can reach when I’m getting a consecutive run of games.

“I always work hard for the team, but when I play two or three games in a row, I know that I’m going to score goals and create chances.

“I want to get back in the rhythm of playing three times a week and enjoying football again.”

Waghorn has found opportunities limited at the King Power Stadium since the arrival of ex-Millwall loanee Chris Wood last January and has made just two substitute appearances so far this season.

He joined the Midlands side from Sunderland for £3million in 2010 but has started just 21 times in the league since then, scoring eight goals.

Lomas said: “Martyn has probably been quite frustrated during the last two years because of the situation at Leicester and the amount of strikers they’ve had.

“We have brought in a lot of experience so far, and now we want to mix that with a couple of young, hungry ones.

“He is a powerful, strong runner and he’s left-sided as well, which is unusual for a striker. He is very good at set plays as well. For me he has got something to prove and that makes him dangerous.”