Millwall manager discusses contracts – and why West Brom striker deal is only until January

MILLWALL boss Gary Rowett says the club will wait until January to start discussing potential new deals for players – and hasn’t ruled out Kenneth Zohore being with the Lions for the full season.

Zohore joined on deadline day from West Brom until January 16, and Rowett hopes if he hits the ground running and enjoys his time at the club he will want to extend the deal.

The Lions have a number of players out of contract at the end of this season, including the likes of skipper Alex Pearce, Shaun Williams, Ryan Leonard and Murray Wallace, though some contracts contain activation clauses.

Alternatively, Millwall could agree new long-term contracts, as they did with Shaun Hutchinson and Mahlon Romeo this year and Jake Cooper last summer despite their previous deals having some way to run.

Rowett feels it’s too early in the season to focus on the contract situations.

“Last season we had hardly anyone out of contract,” Rowett said. “We had a couple in Fergie [Shane Ferguson] and Aiden [O’Brien]. This season we’ve got more, that’s just the way it works.

“We’re [six] games into the season. I think the fact that the season started later doesn’t really alter anything. Usually you sit down around January to discuss some of those players.

“If there was anybody completely out of my plans then they wouldn’t be in the match-day 18 on a regular basis.

“We’ll deal with it when we get to it but there is no imminent plan either way.”

Zohore has played seen little competitive action since June, but made his debut as a late substitute against Luton on Tuesday.

“I think it’s see what happens in January,” Rowett said. “West Brom want to get Kenneth back playing and I suppose if he scores a tonne of goals for us and does fantastically well they’ll have other options in terms of what they want, whether it’s permanent or whatever.

“The hope for us is that Kenneth enjoys it so much that he desperately wants to stay and we want him to stay, and it’s down to the fact that he’s performed and scored goals.

“First and foremost let’s see if we can give him the opportunity to do what he does best. He’s a very good striker in and around the penalty box. If we can get him one-v-one with defenders he’s got the ability to go past them and create chances of his own off both feet, which is hard to find.

“But January’s a long way down the line, you’re talking about nearly half a season away, about 20 games until his loan runs out, which is a phenomenal number. Three months sounds like quite a short deal but actually it’s a significant part of the season.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly