The Catch-22 that makes it tougher for Millwall to re-sign Stoke, Sheffield United and Arsenal trio

MILLWALL boss Gary Rowett would like to re-sign three of this season’s five loanees – but their success means they are set to be in demand this summer.

Benik Afobe scored his 13th goal of the campaign in the 3-0 win over Peterborough United on Saturday, with Oliver Burke also starting and making another positive impact.

Daniel Ballard has been a regular in defence but missed the win over the Posh through injury.

Daniel Ballard nailed down a regular place on loan from Arsenal

The other two loan players, Sheyi Ojo and Luke Freeman, have seen their spells with the Lions disrupted by injury.

Afobe is on loan from Stoke, Burke from Sheffield United and Ballard from Arsenal.

“Any player who has played a strong part this season, of course you would like to try to keep them if that opportunity arises,” Rowett said after Saturday’s win at The Den which kept the Lions challenging for sixth heading into the final day of the season.

Oliver Burke gets his first Millwall goal, in the 4-1 win over Barnsley

But there are so many things that can happen between now and midway through the summer. Teams don’t make those decisions, they’ve had strong finishes which obviously puts their parent clubs in a good position to get other people wanting to take them.

“They’ve been a great part so far, people like Burkey, like Benik, Dan Ballard who is out injured.

“We’ve got to try to keep good quality players. Which ones they are won’t always be down to us but I think that’s our ambition and what we want to try to do.”

Image: Millwall FC

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John Kelly