Millwall manager Gary Rowett on why he doesn’t want outgoing loan deals to be too far down football pyramid

Millwall are ready to consider loan offers for some of their young prospects – but Gary Rowett doesn’t want them to drop too far down the football pyramid.

Centre-back Harry Ransom joined Dover Athletic on loan last week and made his debut on Saturday as they got their National League campaign under way.

Striker George Alexander – the son of former Lions frontman Gary – has been a prolific scorer at all levels below the first-team. The 18-year-old has featured for Kevin Nugent’s U23s this season.

“George is one who has got a great knack of scoring goals,” said Rowett. “The U23 coaches just feel at the moment that the physicality would be difficult for him to push into the first team. Maybe the next step is a good loan. If he keeps scoring there are going to be clubs who want to take him. We’ll see if that’s the development route to get him closer to the first team.

“We’ve got some really good young players coming through and the question is how quickly they can be available for the first team. They have to be ready. Tyler [Burey] and Hayden [Muller] have not been far away. Part of their development in the second half of the season could be to go out and show what they are all about in the league.

“That’s the key. I’m not a big fan of sending players out to really lower down non-league just to go out and play. I don’t think they learn that much.

“If it is their first loan I can understand it more, to get good experience of first-team football. But sometimes if you keep them in the building and develop them tactically it can help them.

“We’ve had some good loans. Danny McNamara is out with St Johnstone and we’re going to learn a lot about whether he can come back and play for us or not.

“Danny is playing the same system that we do here and matches against the likes of Celtic and Rangers will tell us a lot.

“Sometimes players are got out on loan for the sake of getting them out on loan. It is something we’re looking at closely to make sure there is value to us doing it.

“That’s the challenge – trying to pick loans more carefully for someone like George.”

PHOTOS: BRIAN TONKS


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