Gary Rowett has admitted that he expects midfielder Ben Thompson to remain at Millwall during the January transfer window.
Since returning from an ankle problem he suffered at Derby last December, Thompson has struggled for opportunities at The Den – starting just two of the Lions’ final nine Championship matches.
Thompson’s lack of game-time continued at the beginning of this season, which attracted the interest of former side Portsmouth, who were keen on bringing the 25-year-old back to Fratton Park on loan for the campaign.
However, the Millwall academy graduate remained at The Den, and although the likes of Shaun Williams, Ryan Woods and Ryan Leonard appear ahead of Thompson in the midfield pecking order, he’s made four league starts since the summer window closed.
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Despite all of Thompson’s recent appearances coming from the substitutes bench, Rowett doesn’t expect a conversation involving him to leave to take place in the January window.
Rowett told South London Press: “There has always been interest in Thommo from different places and I know there’s been quite a lot of speculation from the Portsmouth end about their interest in the past, because he did really well there.
“But he is an important part of what we’re doing. Until Thommo comes to me and says: ‘I haven’t had enough game time – I need to play more’ then there isn’t really a debate I need to have. I don’t anticipate that [conversation] happening.
“The lads love him and he works incredibly hard every day in training. How many games he starts will be down to his performances when he does start. I think there is a little more to come from him.”
These comments from Rowett shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
Whilst Thompson probably isn’t playing as much as he’d like compared to when he was a regular start under Neil Harris, but Rowett is still giving him chances.
Hopefully Thompson can start showing the form that saw Millwall recall him from Portsmouth this time two years ago and he can kick on during the New Year.