BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Gary Rowett has revealed that Millwall explored the chance of signing Jayson Molumby on a permanent deal.
It was announced on Wednesday that the 20-year-old, on loan at The Den outfit, had extended his contract with Brighton until the summer of 2023.
Republic of Ireland U21 international Molumby has featured 32 times for the Lions after arriving on a temporary basis in the summer.
Both Albion technical director Dan Ashworth and pathway development manager David Weir have been to watch him in action.
“He has done so well that Brighton have wanted to re-sign him,” said Millwall manager Rowett. “He was a player we were hoping they maybe didn’t see as playing first-team football for them soon and that he might be one we potentially tried to buy.
“It was something we explored but it was clear Brighton saw him as part of their long-term future, so that was that.
“He has done really well for me. He was one we highlighted when we came in that we felt could be really important to the team. He has started nearly every game and really committed to Millwall this season.
“The challenge for Jayson, now he has signed the deal and got a bit more clarity on his future, is making sure he’s completely focused on the end of the season and continues progressing.
“He’s probably played more games than he felt he would. Physically he’s realised how hard the Championship is but he has great energy.”
Molumby’s chance of a quick breakthrough at the Seagulls is likely to depend on whether they stay in the Premier League.
If they do then another loan could be on the cards. Would Rowett be interested in the same arrangement again?
“I’ve spoken about the fact I like loans that have a possibility of becoming permanent rather than just a straight loan,” said the Lions chief. “But with the progress he has made this season, we’d be stupid to not at least consider it. But that’s not something we’ve discussed with Brighton.
“It’s the type of thing that clubs make a decision late in pre-season – particularly now that the window is extending. That will be a challenge because teams will keep a player until the end of the window, which is not ideal.
“You’ve also got to see what Jayson wants to do. If he has had a good season with us then who knows?
“He is a feisty player and he’s tough. You’ve seen in some games where he has almost taken us pressing the opposition into his own hands – occasionally with success and occasionally not with success.
“The goal at Brentford typified Jayson’s spirit. He closes one player down, then another and then the goalkeeper – it ends up with Aiden [O’Brien] following up and scoring. That is what he is about.
“Where he needs to improve is in the attacking third so that he is effecting games more with goals, assists and setting chances up.
“With his position at the moment he is player a destroyer role really, really well. But to play in the Premier League you’re going to need that next level.
“There’s no reason he can’t do that.”
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