AS THE news filtered through that Josh McQuoid would be joining Burnley on a three-month loan deal, many Millwall fans were left scratching their heads in disbelief.
The striker arrived at The Den in November 2010 for £500,000. Naturally, hopes were high: the transfer fee was a relatively substantial one, and McQuoid had been in excellent form for Bournemouth prior to the move.
Even if a series of injuries had slightly hampered the beginning of his time in South East London, there were a few, albeit small, indications that he might have the ability to make the step up from League One and become an important player for the Lions.
It took McQuoid until April 2011 to find the net for the first time as a Millwall player, yet the stunning 30-yard strike against Preston North End – which was eventually voted as the club’s goal of the season – was worth the wait. Those who’d only heard of the Northern Ireland international’s quality had now seen what he was capable of first-hand, and if expectations were already great, they were now monumental.
Fast-forward to January 2012, however, and McQuoid has made just two competitive starts since opening his account. It’s a fact that would seemingly be followed by a whole list of caveats involving serious injuries, training-ground bust-ups and a general lack of application or attitude, but what makes it even stranger is that very few people would appear to know celebrex why.
It’s a situation that feels disappointingly similar to the short stay of Theo Robinson, who, despite joining Millwall permanently last season after a reasonably bright loan spell, was effectively sold to Derby County a month later. The official line was that Robinson had failed to settle due to homesickness, although a number of people remain unconvinced by the explanation provided.
An initial agreement with Derby meant that Millwall were able to recoup the money spent on Theo Robinson, whereas Josh McQuoid may have to produce something special at Burnley to warrant a price-tag resembling anything like the amount paid to Bournemouth for his services.
Even then, financial matters seem secondary when goalscoring has been a real issue this season, and if McQuoid does indeed go on to impress for the Clarets (who find themselves 11 points above Millwall in the table), it will beg the question as to why he was not given a chance with his parent club.
A lack of clarification in both cases has quite understandably caused frustration among supporters, and though Kenny Jackett will no doubt have his reasons for allowing McQuoid and Robinson to leave, the mystery surrounding both situations has given way to all sorts of wild speculation and criticism.
Regardless of any such discontent, Theo Robinson’s departure did not prove to be too costly on or off the pitch. Hopefully Millwall will be fortunate enough to say the same of Josh McQuoid’s – even if at present it seems unlikely.