PORTSMOUTH boss Danny Cowley has confirmed he is an admirer of Ben Thompson – and hinted Pompey will keep an eye on the midfielder’s situation as the summer goes on.
Thompson, 25, was signed by Cowley’s predecessor Kenny Jackett on loan in 2018. Thompson was a hit with the fans, who were disappointed to see the player recalled by Neil Harris in January 2019 after impressing in 23 league appearances at Fratton Park.
Jackett’s side were top of League One when Thompson returned to Millwall after 26 games, before dropping to fourth and losing to Sunderland in the play-off semi-finals.
Cowley replaced Jackett in March this year but Portsmouth missed out on the top six, finishing eighth.
“We know Ben – Ben’s a really good player,” Cowley told The News in Portsmouth.
“He’s a player with huge energy, an infectious enthusiasm and a really good timer and arriver.
“Ben’s someone we know well, but we’re respectful that he’s a Milwall player
“We know he’s someone who’s a Championship player on Championship wages with a Championship contract.”
Thompson has one year left on that contract. He is one of five central midfielders currently at the club and the Lions want to add another attacker, a position where Thompson has been used by Millwall boss Gary Rowett.
Cowley speculated a club would want a fee for a player in the last year of their deal rather than let them out on loan and then lose them for nothing.
Portsmouth have already signed former Millwall midfielders Shaun Williams and Ryan Tunnicliffe on free transfers this summer.
Cowley added: “When they go into the last year of their contracts, in general, probably the loan option would be the best option for those types of players.
“But then the parent club need an enthusiasm to do that type of deal when they are in the last year of their contracts.
“They tend to not want to do that.
“If a player is surplus to requirements, they tend to want to cash in on the asset.
“With the boys who have one year left, you can sometimes get really good value, though.
“But that’s not normally in June, it’s normally closer to the end of the window when people are trying to create funds for themselves to use.
“That’s when the chain starts moving for that to happen.”
Image: Millwall FC