This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Middlesbrough midfielder George Saville is set to make a surprise return to Millwall after being sold nearly three years ago, according to Football Insider.
The 28-year-old moved to Boro in 2018, initially on loan but it became a blockbuster £8 million permanent deal in January 2019 – a club-record sale for the Lions.
And after making 110 league appearances for Middlesbrough since then, the Northern Ireland international is heading out of the exit door at the Riverside and returning to a place that is very familiar to him, having had three separate stints at The Den both permanently and on loan.
Is Saville a good acquisition for the Lions though? We asked the FLW team for their thoughts.
I think it will be decent business for Millwall.
Saville had a good spell at the Den prior to making the move to Middlesbrough and, to my mind, he’s never really let Boro down during his spell on Teesside.
You know what you’re going to get from Saville: he’s a hard worker, good on and off the ball, whilst he can also score goals from midfield if given the freedom to get forwards.
At 28-years-old, he’s heading into his peak years and will be returning to Millwall as a senior player. That can only be a good thing for Rowett as he looks to evolve his squad.
In many ways, I’m surprised Boro are open to losing him, which only underlines the fact it will be decent business for Millwall.
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Two words starting with ‘S’ describe this signing – shrewd and solid.
Looking at Millwall’s squad in its current state, you can see they need a replacement for Ryan Woods and Shaun Williams.
That’s not to say they shouldn’t make full use out of George Evans, who still has unfulfilled potential for me even at the age of 26.
But these two departures have made a reinforcement in the middle of the park an absolute necessity for Gary Rowett, so it’s no surprise to see him chase George Saville.
The one upside of signing the 28-year-old is the amount of Championship experience he’s managed to get under his belt in the last couple of seasons at Middlesbrough, and while it wouldn’t be the most exciting thing to see a former player return, he’s a solid option to have in midfield nonetheless and one that should be welcomed with open arms.
And as a box-to-box midfielder, he will have a lot to offer both going forward and defensively, scoring six goals and picking up four assists last season, so it’s definitely one for Gary Rowett to get over the line with Benik Afobe joining this morning.
It would be interesting to see how much they are prepared to pay for the midfielder.
A very smart addition from the Lions if they can get it over the line as he was a popular player amongst the fans prior to leaving.
He will add the same amount of energy to the midfield as Ryan Woods did and by that mantra it’s sort of a like for like move.
He is in the last year of his contract so should come cheaper than other targets in his position too I would I think.
Saville is a Gary Rowett type of player and I think he will only help to contribute to the way the club is improving each season.
Millwall look set for a great campaign based on their transfer business so far.