Millwall boss outlines January transfer expectations

NEIL Harris doesn’t expect any permanent incoming or outgoing transfers at Millwall in January but added: “It is early days.”

Harris currently has a full first-team squad of 22 players ahead of Saturday’s clash against Reading with no players in the treatment room after Shaun Hutchinson’s return to fitness.

Last January’s transfer window was Millwall’s busiest in Harris’ time in charge, when the Lions recruited Ben Marshall and Jason Shackell on loan, and signed Tim Cahill and Harry Toffolo on deals until the end of the season.

Jed Wallace and Jake Cooper joined on loan the previous January, with Wallace moving to Millwall on a similar deal twelve months before that.

Harris admits he hopes for a less complicated transfer window in January, after Millwall fielded a number of enquiries for their players during the summer, before losing George Saville to Middlesbrough on August 31 and signing Ryan Leonard as his replacement just three minutes before the 5pm deadline. Those loans automatically become permanent next January 1.

Millwall will revisit the loan situations with their players, especially if the likes of Fred Onyedinma and Tom King are not getting regular first-team football.

The Lions were particularly boosted by the arrivals of Marshall and Cahill, losing just two league games after January 1 to the end of the season and almost reaching the play-offs.

“January for the last three years has been tough. The summer window was by far the toughest one for me in my time in charge,” Harris said.

“Do I expect January to be easier? Well I hope so. But no I don’t expect it to be easy because it’s always a difficult window.

“There’s a lot of toing and froing and a lot of broken promises in January. Not by people on purpose, just because of people not moving at the last minute, one team faltering on a deal which means one deal falls through which leads to another one falling through and then another, and you end up in that chain somewhere. If a player doesn’t go somewhere, then another doesn’t come in from somewhere.

“It’s a difficult one but will there be wholesale changes? No, there won’t. Do I expect players to come back from loan? Possibly. Players going out on loan? Quite possibly that as well.

“In terms of permanents it’s very difficult in January. I don’t expect any permanents to go during the month or anyone to come in permanently.

“But it is early days.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly