Could Millwall look at free transfer market in January? Lions boss gives his thoughts

GARY Rowett said Millwall could utilise the free-transfer market if they need reinforcements this season.

Rowett pointed to Wales international Joe Ledley as an example of a player who could provide value in that market. Rowett signed Ledley on a free transfer for Derby in September 2017 after the midfielder had left Crystal Palace.

Millwall want to add a midfielder to their squad, as well as, ideally, a left-sided player and another attacker.

There is a sense that the Lions could make a play-off push with some astute January acquisitions. Millwall would like a deal for Stoke midfielder Ryan Woods, while they have also been linked with another of Rowett's former players, Derby attacker Mason Bennett.

A relatively small squad for the Championship has been stretched by injuries and suspensions. Millwall are down to the bare bones in central midfield, while Rowett hasn't been able to rest players given the lack of options in certain positions.

Other players haven't made the desired impact this season and could be moved on this month or in the summer. Tom Elliott has already been shipped off to Salford after the club agreed to end his contract six months early.

The pool of free transfers is smaller at this time of the season. There are some renowned names who are currently free agents, including former Lions winger Ben Marshall, former Stoke midfielder and Ireland international Glenn Whelan and ex-Blackburn left-back Martin Olsson.

Rowett explained the club's thinking on the free and loan markets.

"We always have a list of players that are free transfers," Rowett said. "When I was at Derby we took Joe Ledley and he did a fantastic job. I think we lost one game in 20 after Joe came in.

"It's a market where if you can't get someone in the January window then you start to look at players who are out of contract afterwards because that's all you can do.

"I don't think we're too specific in it. It's difficult when you take a loan, because you want the option in there that you can take them permanently if they do well.

"You want someone who's a long-term option for you, but occasionally the team needs a short-term fix. And that's where the loan market's great.

"You can get someone in for three or four months that can keep us in the race and competitive. We might need to bring someone in who we might not necessarily look to sign long term.

"There are so many different opportunities to do so many different things."

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly