Millwall prospect set to stay in first-team fold for remainder of the season

Millwall manager Gary Rowett is expecting Romain Esse to continue training with their first-team for the remainder of the season.

The 17-year-old winger made his senior debut as a 89th-minute substitute for George Saville in the 2-0 win over Watford on Boxing Day.

“I’m a big believer that even if a player is younger than some of the ones in the U23 but is good enough – you can see that real potential – they have to almost leapfrog the other players in the group,” said Rowett.

“The very, very best players make their debuts at 16 or 17, that’s just how it works when you think a player has some special qualities.

“We’ve been really impressed with him. He has been very calm on the ball, he’s got great decision-making in sessions – he sees the right pass and before the ball comes to him.

“It’s always a fine balance. You can easily go with senior players – ones that have seen it and done it – but as a club we always have to try and give that player an opportunity to be part of the group. That might be in and out of the squad or it might be off the bench.

“Ultimately he’ll be with us now, certainly for the rest of the season, every day in training. Hopefully along the way he can add something off the bench. He will develop more over the next four or five months for that exposure.

“He’s going to be a really good player but how that develops and how quickly it develops will be down to him.

“If you think about Saturday’s game we had Tyler [Burey] on the pitch, Romain on the pitch, Danny [McNamara] on the pitch – the club are doing some brilliant work. All we’re trying to do is give that platform and pathway to get into the team and make a difference.

“It’s what the club should be about and what we’ve always tried to do since we’ve come in.

“You are seeing the fruits of that work.”

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