Millwall could add defender to transfer wish-list after injuries limit options

MILLWALL have added a defender to their wish-list in this transfer window – but time is running out as they aim to further strengthen their squad.

In the space of one week, Gary Rowett lost Shaun Hutchinson, Danny McNamara and Ryan Leonard to injury. And Mahlon Romeo was absent from the squad through injury for the 3-1 win over Cambridge United on Tuesday.

The first two are expected to be out for up to six weeks, but the Lions hope Leonard won’t be absent for more than two weeks.

Millwall prioritised a centre-back and centre-forward this summer, and signed Daniel Ballard on loan from Arsenal and Benik Afobe on loan from Stoke City.

The Lions already wanted one more attacking player, but may now need to add to their defence in the short term.

Rowett’s preferred system is a back three but with Hutchinson and Leonard out he only has four centre-backs.

The problem for Millwall is they need to move players on before they can recruit, but the market has been slow this summer as teams struggle financially after having no gate income for more than a year.

Millwall’s last signing was George Saville from Middlesbrough at the start of July. The transfer window closes at 11pm on August 31.

Rowett admitted his recruitment team are now looking at the defender market after those injuries.

“I think that’s an area we probably need to strengthen, certainly short-term,” Rowett said. “It’s something we’re looking at and the forward option is something we’ve spoken about previously. We still want to try to bring a player in there.

“Again, we need to balance things off to bring one in, so to bring two in means a little bit more work. But it’s something we’re looking at.”

Rowett was asked if he expects the window to be busier over the last few days.

He replied: “Being really honest, I’ve got no idea. This transfer window has proved to be really unpredictable. There’s not been very much movement from any clubs.

“We’re one of the clubs who have done as much as anyone. Everyone’s expecting the last week to be a little bit busier, but I’ve heard people say that before only for not much to happen.

“I think we’ll see just how much Covid has affected budgets, what teams are able to do.

“We’ll see, but certainly we’re working hard to remain active to make one or two more signings. Whether we do that or not, time will tell.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly