On the final day of the summer transfer window, a Millwall stalwart said goodbye to The Den for potentially the final time as Mahlon Romeo made a switch to Danny Cowley’s Portsmouth.
Romeo had been a Lions player since 2015 when making the move from Gillingham, where he’d made just one league appearance.
By the end of his first season at Millwall he was a regular feature in League One and up until the end of the 2019-20 season the Antigua & Barbuda international was the club’s first-choice right-back.
Romeo started more games than anyone else at right-wing-back last season but the emergence of Danny McNamara as fresh competition meant that the 25-year-old had to share more minutes with his younger counterpart.
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And despite appearing in two Championship matches this season for Millwall, Romeo made the decision to depart south London for a season in League One with Pompey, but judging by his reasoning it appears that a more permanent departure from Millwall could be in the offing next summer.
“It was a tough decision, I’m not going to lie,” said Romeo, per HampshireLive.
“I loved my time at Millwall but football is football. All good things come to an end so it was time for me to move on.
“I spoke to Willo [Shaun Williams] beforehand and Tunni [Ryan Tunnicliffe] and obviously Jed [Wallace] put in a good word. They did sell it.”
From Romeo’s words, it doesn’t sound like he will be heading back to The Den following the conclusion of his loan spell.
Romeo only signed a new long-term contract at the club 18 months ago, so something has gone wrong somewhere for an exit to come this soon.
Obviously the emergence of McNamara is probably a reason for Gary Rowett sanctioning his departure but he does now lack a bit of natural cover down that side of the pitch – especially as McNamara is currently sidelined.
Having made over 200 appearances for the Lions, Romeo will be held in high regard by fans – don’t expect the door to be fully shut on him as well if he exceeds expectations at Fratton Park and performs at his peak level.