MILLWALL have already turned their attentions to next summer’s transfer window – but will have plans in place should Neil Harris decide he wants to boost his squad in January
Harris has a first-team squad of 22 players, one of the smallest in the Championship. Billy Mitchell and George Alexander have also both made senior appearances but won’t be rushed into league action.
Millwall had to react to an injury to Frank Fielding on the opening day by quickly adding to the squad with the loan signing of goalkeeper Luke Steele before the transfer window closed for Championship clubs on August 8.
There is no rest for Millwall’s recruitment department despite the closure of the window, and they are identifying targets long-term.
Clubs can also still sign free agents. Last year Millwall brought in Jem Karacan, who was without a club, after Ben Thompson moved on loan to Portsmouth.
Last January Harris signed Alex Pearce and Ben Marshall on loan.
“We’ll be looking for next summer as much as January,” Millwall’s head of recruitment, Alex Aldridge (above, with Harris), said. “What could develop in January would be reacting to the short-term needs of the manager. It could be injuries, it could be loss of form, it could be that once we get into the autumn Neil feels we’re lacking something.
“The requirements for January will probably evolve over the next weeks and months. For next summer, because of contract positions with certain players or we’ve got players here on loan who aren’t contracted beyond next season, there’s a bit more of a clearer cut-off point. We can see where the gaps are more clearly.
“We’ll be looking straight away towards next summer and when things become clearer mid-season then we start working towards January as well.
“So far we haven’t had to really react in [the free agent] market and ideally we won’t have to. But we’ve done it in the past.
“It’s a slightly different example last year with Thommo going to Portsmouth and getting someone like Jem in on a short-term contract. There’s probably nothing in the planning this time around, again it would probably only be a reaction to severe injury problems.
“There are always players floating around and we still get called quite regularly by agents, by players making us aware they are without a club and either training somewhere or asking if they can train with us.
“We’re not actively looking at free agents at the minute. But we’re always mindful of who might be out there in case we need to react to something that happens and we need to bring someone in on a short-term basis.”
Image: Millwall FC