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…
Millwall manager Gary Rowett is looking to freshen up his squad in the January transfer window with a move for Derby County forward Mason Bennett being considered, according to a report in the Daily Mail.
Bennett has made nine appearances in what has been a turbulent campaign for him so far, with him in the final year of his current contract with the Rams, sparking interest from Rowett who is a former Derby manager.
Earlier this season Bennett was convicted of drink driving along with team-mate Tom Lawrence following a crash in September which resulted in club captain Richard Keogh suffering a serious knee injury, he was banned from driving for two years and handed 12-month community order, while being fined six weeks’ wages by the Rams.
So would Bennett be a good addition at the Den and is he needed by the Lions?
“This would be a good addition for Millwall, with Bennett having the flexibility to play in number of positions across the forward line, which would be beneficial for Gary Rowett’s side as they look to continue their fine form since he replaced Neil Harris as manager.
“Rowett knows all about Bennett’s qualities having worked with him at Derby, and if he feels the attacker has the ability to add some extra attacking quality to Millwall’s forward line, then he has earned the right to be backed to bring him in.
“Given Bennett is in the final year of his contract, he could be a relatively low cost signing for Millwall, unless Derby manage to convince him to sign a new deal – and that means he could prove to be a bargain for Rowett’s side were they to bring him in.
“Bennett, though, has had some injury troubles this season, so it could potentially be a risk to bring him into the New Den, but when he has been fully fit he has shown he can be a threat to Championship defences.”
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“Although there is no doubting Bennett’s talent, Millwall ought to think twice before committing to a move for the forward given his recent escapades at Derby.
“Since Phillip Cocu’s arrival at Pride Park, the forward has struggled to make any inroads on the Rams’ starting eleven despite their relatively underwhelming start to the season.
“Yet to score a goal in the Championship during the current campaign, the jury is still out on whether Bennett is good enough to lead the line in this particular division.
“Having only found the back of the net on four occasions in 72 second-tier appearances, the 23-year-old may not be an upgrade on Millwall’s existing attacking options and thus Gary Rowett should steer clear of signing him.”
“I don’t think that Bennett is an upgrade on what Millwall already have at the Den, but I think he’d still be a useful player to have on the books.
“It has obviously been a tough year both on and off the pitch for Bennett, and it remains to be seen whether he earns regular game time at Pride Park as soon as he recovers from his spell on the sidelines through injury.
“I think Derby need to bolster their winger options this month which could push Bennett further down the pecking order, and he simply needs to ensure that he is playing on a regular basis, especially at his age.
“Frank Lampard got the best out of him last season and played him in a system that really worked for him, where he could run at defenders with his pace and power without having to worry too much about defensive duties.
“He has flattered to deceive under Phillip Cocu, and it could be best for him to test himself elsewhere.”