Championship status could help Millwall with Premier League loans

MILLWALL CEO Steve Kavanagh believes being in the Championship will help the club attract players on loan from the Premier League.

The Lions will complete permanent transfer for James Meredith and Tom Elliott this month, and could also utilise the loan market to boost their squad.

Millwall boss Neil Harris has already seen the benefit of bringing in loan players. In his first full season in charge he signed George Saville and Jed Wallace, both from Wolves, before Chris Taylor arrived from Blackburn Rovers.

Last season Harris returned to Wolves for Wallace, before recruiting centre-back Jake Cooper from Reading.

All of those players made impacts, with Wallace and Cooper making important contributions as Millwall won promotion from League One in May.

The offer of Championship football should mean the club can compete for promising Premier League talent, and Millwall can point to their role in the development of Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane (above) as further incentive to tempt players.

Kavanagh stressed it is crucial any player joining on a temporary basis buys into the ethos of the club.

“That’s something we’ll discuss and look at,” Kavanagh said. “When you’re in the Championship you can attract Premier League loans.

“But for someone to come in on loan he has to have the right ingredients to ensure that first and foremost he feels and believes he is a Millwall player for that season. He needs to feel he’s part of that set-up and not just someone on the periphery.

“If we find someone with those right ingredients it’s something we might consider.

“We’ve got contacts all over the place. Neil has played with a number of players now at different clubs, the chairman has contacts, I know various chief executives around football. And that’s before we even get into the rest of the management team and the scouting set-up. There are a huge number of contacts.

“Harry Kane came here – people know what a loan to here can mean. But we want the core of the squad to be Millwall players.”

Kavanagh revealed the club have a long list of potential transfer targets that they are working on.

Millwall are hopeful Shaun Williams, Shaun Cummings and Jimmy Abdou will sign new contracts.

There is also the likelihood that players already contracted to the clubs will seek new deals, with Lee Gregory and Byron Webster saying after the play-off final win over Bradford that they would be happy to discuss extensions.

“The agents will talk to us and as part of our strategy we obviously look at where things are, how long they have left on their contracts,” Kavanagh said.

“We try to make sure players are settled and not thinking about the future. That’s not always possible, we’ve had a couple of players who got to the end of this season out of contract, but they performed.

“Jimmy Abdou is out of contract, but he performed miraculously. We’re talking to Jimmy.

“Shaun Williams is out of contract, he played exceptionally well last season and we’re still talking to him.

“You don’t ideally have that, but it works all ways. You always want players to be settled but ultimately we’ve got to build a squad that can develop and evolve and grow in the Championship.

“We want to compete.

“We’ve got lists as long as your arm containing names of players we want to come in. There are some we are talking to and we know exactly what we want to do.

“It’s not always easy to secure the first target. If we can’t get the first target we’ll get the second or the third or the fourth. They’re not on the list if they’re not of interest, so just because they’re fourth on the list doesn’t mean they’re not a top-quality player.”

Image: Millwall FC