Millwall still waiting on young striker’s contract decision

Millwall are waiting on Zak Lovelace to make a decision on signing a professional contract.

The striker became the club’s second youngest ever debutant when he came on against Coventry City in December aged 15 years and 340 days.

Lovelace, who turned 16 on January 23, went on to make three more substitute appearances for the Lions in the campaign.

Glasgow Rangers have been linked with Lovelace. If he were to move cross border it would greatly reduce the compensation for the forward, who is a pupil at West Dulwich’s Kinsgdale Foundation School.

Lions boss Gary Rowett said: “The club have made it clear that we would love Zak to be part of what we do next year and on a full-time basis. That’s our aim.

“Fitzy [Scott Fitzgerald] in the academy has worked for so many years to bring the best young players through and you want to see them start coming through to the first team.

“There is an inevitability, unfortunately, that some of your better young players get poached by other clubs. To a certain degree those fees are a little bit out of your hands.

“Zak is one of those, a lad who has had a bit of interest. He’ll be getting different advice and all we can do is show how much we want him here and then see what happens. I don’t think he has got to make a decision now. I think someone would have to be interested and essentially pay compensation for him.

“I really like him. He’s a young player I really want to see in our first team. But if a young player doesn’t sign it’s not always under our control. The complication then comes in of the compensation and how it works. You’ve seen it before for other other players who moved on – Sam Edozie – who went to Manchester City. It’s a shame. I don’t think the system is particularly great.

“As usual it favours the elite clubs and punishes the clubs who are trying to develop these young players.

“That’s the lie of the land and we have to deal with it. He’s a player I’d love to keep. Whatever happens, I think we’ll see him go on to have a really good career.”




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