Millwall boss on why it won’t necessarily be major overhaul despite seven players leaving squad

GARY Rowett has dropped some hints about transfer plans this summer – and said he doesn’t necessarily expect a big overhaul of the squad.

Apart from Jed Wallace, all of Millwall’s key senior players are secured on long-term contracts.

The goalkeeping and defensive areas of the squad are well-stocked, with the main focus set to be on improving the attack.

The biggest recent overhaul was in the summer of 2019 when Neil Harris recruited nine senior players.

Rowett was asked if the number of new signings could be seven to 10 in the next transfer window, based on five loan players returning to their clubs, Alex Pearce and Connor Mahoney leaving, and questions over the futures of others.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say seven to 10,” Rowett responded. “We’ve got the likes of Alex Mitchell and Isaac Olaofe coming back to us for pre-season after positive seasons out on loan.

“We’ve seen the impact that other young players like Tyler [Burey] and Zak [Lovelace] have made. They will have more opportunities next season.”

Two players Millwall could aim to bring back on permanent deals are Benik Afobe from Stoke City and Oliver Burke from Sheffield United.

Both players are unlikely to have futures with their parent clubs, though they are still under contract and should have interest from elsewhere.

“They’ve done well for us,” Rowett said. “Anyone who’s had a positive season for us and a positive impact you’d consider trying to get them back. But there’s a lot of things that could happen with those two players and we’re not going to be in control of that.

“All we can do is have those discussions behind the scenes and see what happens, I think is the easiest way to say it.”

Jed Wallace may have played his past game for the Lions

Meanwhile, Rowett still hasn’t ruled out the possibility of Jed Wallace staying at the club.

Asked this week by NewsAtDen if the Lions had moved on from Wallace, Rowett replied: “Not necessarily.

“Of course Jed has to do the right thing for him and his family, and he’s earned the right to make that decision. He has the time to be able to do that now.

“It was really nice for Jed to be able to get back for the last few games of the season and again he showed what an important player he is for us.

“But we have to plan for being without him. He has been such a good player for us and if he does move on then the challenge is to bring someone else in.”

Image: Millwall FC 

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John Kelly