Millwall's Onyedinma could make loan exit

FRED Onyedinma could leave Millwall on loan this week.

Onyedinma wasn’t in the Lions’ squad for their Championship fixture against Rotherham on Sunday, and he could make a move before Friday’s 5pm transfer deadline.

Onyedinma has played just once this season, for 74 minutes in the first round of the EFL Cup against Gillingham.

The 21-year-old forward has come on as a substitute more times (78) than he has started (71) since making his Millwall debut in January 2014.

He has offered glimpses of his talent, and Lions boss Neil Harris highlighted the 2016-17 season when Millwall went 17 games unbeaten and Onyedinma’s performances in FA Cup wins over Bournemouth, Watford and Leicester City attracted the interest of Premier league sides.

It was uncertain whether Onyedinma would sign a new deal that summer after Millwall had been promoted from League One, before he eventually ended speculation by agreeing a three-year contract.

Last season, Onyedinma made 42 appearances, but most were off the bench.

Onyedinma is in contention to play against Plymouth in the second round of the EFL Cup on Wednesday, but Harris confirmed that the player could make a temporary exit this week.

“With Fred, we all forget that he’s still just 21, he’s still a young man,” Harris told NewsAtDen. “He hasn’t had a sustained run of games in probably the last 18 months. We’re really conscious of the fact that he hasn’t had that run of games since we had that great run in the FA Cup and [won] promotion that year, he played almost every game for a couple of months.

“He’s a massive part of us but we’re thinking does he need games between now and January. He didn’t travel at the weekend because he wasn’t going to be on the bench and I didn’t want to take him all the way there not to be involved. It was quite clear what the 18 was going to be.

“He certainly comes into the thinking for tomorrow night because he needs minutes whether he’s going to be with us on Friday at 5pm or whether he’s going to be out on loan somewhere. He needs to be up to speed. We’ll take that one step at a time.”

Harris hasn’t ruled out signing a replacement if Onyedinma departs this week.

“We’ve brought Tom Bradshaw in already and we’ve got Jiri [Skalak] in. We’ve got Jed [Wallace] – who I thought was excellent at the weekend – and Aiden [O’Brien], Shane Ferguson as well,” Harris added.

“We’ve got players in that position. A lot of it becomes who becomes available as well to bring in. We have to look also at Financial Fair Play. We’re not a club that’s going to break budgets for short-term gain.”

Image: Millwall FC

John Kelly