Everything we know about Millwall’s latest target

MILLWALL are looking to sign Lewis Ferguson from Aberdeen.

Midlands football reporter John Percy has reported that the Lions have submitted a £1.5 million bid for the midfielder, who has been keen to leave the Scottish Premiership club since last summer.

Ferguson’s agent, Bill McMurdo, told the Daily Mail that the club were “obstructing his progress” and “have let the player down” after rejecting his transfer request and turning down a £2 million bid from then Premier League side Watford in May 2021.

McMurdo also claimed that Aberdeen had made a verbal agreement to not stand in the player’s way if a Premier League team were interested in him, but that the club refused to give interested parties a selling price for the 22-year-old.

With his contract running until 2024, the Scottish club have the upper hand in any negotiations. Given that they’ve previously rejected offers higher than that of Millwall’s, there are doubts as to whether the Lions’ bid will be considered.

Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin told FootballScotland that “everybody has a valuation” but that the club “won’t sell anybody on the cheap”.

McMurdo confirmed that Ferguson had previously met with representatives from Italian outfit Cagliari, who scouted the midfielder for 18 months. In March, the Sardinian side were reportedly considering a bid of £3.5 million, seeing the Scottish international as a ready-made replacement for wantaway midfielder Nahitan Nández.

However, their recent relegation from Serie A may complicate a potential deal. McMurdo has previously said that Ferguson’s “ambition was to play in the Premier League”, which may affect a move to Watford or Millwall, who both play in the second tier.

On the other hand, Championship winners Fulham, who have been linked with a move for Ferguson in the past, might be encouraged to firm up a bid for the midfielder, while both Celtic and Rangers reportedly remain interested and can both offer European football.

Ferguson is very highly rated in Scotland, scoring 16 goals from midfield in a side that struggled massively last season, finishing 10th. He found the back of the net 37 times in all competitions across his four seasons so far at Aberdeen, with his form being rewarded with a call up to the Scottish national team in September 2021.

The midfielder has played European football in the past, and is perhaps best remembered for scoring an incredible bicycle kick against Burnley in the Europa League in 2018-19. The following season, he won the SFWA Young Player of the Year award.

At 5’11, Ferguson is a real presence in the middle of the park. He’s a box-to-box midfielder whose defensive numbers are impressive, ranking highly for aerial duals and defensive duals success percentage. Despite playing in a double pivot in a 4-2-3-1 formation for Aberdeen, he truly shines in the final third of the pitch, with a staggeringly high expected goals ratio.

He takes a high number of touches in the opposition box and makes lots of progressive runs from midfield, but can also thrive in a more creative role. While Ferguson only had one assist last season, his forward passing and long passing success percentages are very high. He ranks well above average in all of these areas, as per @ForeseeaBall on Twitter.

While Millwall may need to improve their £1.5 million offer, Ferguson would fill a major gap in the Lions’ squad. Gary Rowett has a number of defensive midfielders in his squad, but is lacking a creative force in the centre of the park. It’s likely part of the reason why their attacking output was so low last season.

It would also raise some questions about what formation Rowett wants to utilise next season. If he sticks with a 5-2-3, one of Billy Mitchell or George Saville would likely have to drop out of the team, which would be incredibly harsh on either of them given their impressive contributions last season. Alternatively, the Lions could move to a 4-3-3, playing Ferguson alongside Mitchell and Saville in a flat midfield three, but they might have to sacrifice their incredible defensive record as a result.

Signing Ferguson would be a major statement of intent from Millwall, but regardless of whether they get him or not, it shows that the club are active in the transfer market and working hard to fill the gaps in their squad.

Photo: Millwall FC

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