Millwall boss Gary Rowett has confirmed that the club are working on a loan deal for Alex Mitchell this summer.
The 20-year-old, who has made just a single appearance for the Lions as a senior player, spent last campaign out on loan, too.
Despite doing well in pre-season upon his return to The Den, with options looking limited for the season ahead, Rowett confirms the club are hoping to sort a loan deal as early as this week.
“Big Alex has done really well, he’s been good in pre-season.” the Lions boss explained, via NewsatDen.
“With Charlie Cresswell coming in, there’s less chance of him playing lots of minutes this season. So off the back of that, and the fact that we really rate him and want him to try and develop, his plan will be to go out on loan this week.
“We have a couple of options for him, which I won’t divulge. If they work out, then he’ll certainly go to one of those teams and start the season there.”
Commenting on the 20-year-old’s future further, Rowett suggests that the step up to League One would be the ideal scenario for Mitchell this summer.
“He played in League Two last year, so our initial aim was to try and get him to a higher level to try and test him further,” Rowett added.
“We’ve got one option that might be able to do that and another option that’s similar to his challenge last year.
“As a young centre-half, sometimes the level is important but playing games is also massively important.
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“To learn on the job, as a centre-back, is something you need to do. You need to get bashed about a bit, you need to learn against different types of strikers, when and where to go tight and drop off. That’ll be his challenge this year and we’ll monitor that closely if he does go out on loan.”
It is now just days until Millwall kick off their 2022/23 Championship campaign, where the club will hope they can keep up the momentum that brought them within touching distance of a play-off spot last season.
The Lions face Stoke City at The Den on Saturday afternoon, with kick-off set for 15:00.
This is certainly a move that makes sense for all parties.
Mitchell is clearly a player that Rowett believes can develop further and potentially become a first-teamer at The Den, and as such, sitting around on the bench makes no sense this upcoming season.
Millwall’s options at centre-half mean those opportunities for vital first team minutes would be extremely limited this term, and the better option is clearly to drop down to League One or Two and once again play week in, week out.
You’d hope that the club can secure the League One move discussed, just purely so the player is continuing to develop and test himself at a slightly higher level, rather than just getting comfortable with life down in League Two.