Danny Cowley has admitted that it would be difficult to sign on loan Millwall defender Mahlon Romeo on a permanent deal at Portsmouth, during an interview with The News.
The 26-year-old has started the last 14 League One games for Pompey, proving to be a vital component of how Cowley likes to operate.
Romeo has recently been handed a right wing-back role, meaning he has a lot more attacking responsibilities at present with more defensive cover.
Portsmouth are currently two points outside of the play-off positions, accumulating 16 points from a possible 18, with Romeo being part of a defence that conceded just twice in those last six matches.
Speaking to The News about Romeo, Cowley said: “We didn’t anticipate Mahlon would become available to us.
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“It wasn’t one we could predict, he became available right at the end of the window. It was too good an opportunity to turn down.
“I thought he was going to Ipswich and there was even Sunderland, but he wanted to stay down south. He became available and it was a great deal for us.
“It would be tough (to sign Romeo permanently), but we’d love to have him. It’s been a good loan for both of us.
“He’s been a machine, really good.
“He was short of games when he first arrived, but he soon got fitter, more athletic and powerful.
“We’re seeing, for me, one of the best right-backs in the Championship.”
It was certainly a surprise that Millwall allowed the 26-year-old to drop a division on loan this season, given his performances in the second-tier in the past.
However, he has certainly proven himself in League One and is part of a rapidly improving Portsmouth team who are charging towards the play-off positions.
Securing a permanent deal for the 26-year-old would be an excellent bit of business from a Pompey perspective, but it would probably be difficult to secure.
Millwall themselves might look to reintroduce Romeo back into the first-team set up, whilst other Championship clubs, and financially superior League One clubs, could look to secure a deal.