Millwall boss Gary Rowett has told News at Den that he plans to hold talks with Isaac Olaofe about his future following the striker’s solid breakthrough season on loan at Sutton United.
The 21-year-old centre forward was originally loaned to the newly crowned National League champions back in October and went on to score 16 goals in all competitions as the club secured the first promotion to the Football League in their 123-year history.
Sutton are said to be keen on bringing the youngster back to Gander Green Lane next term, whilst Rowett recently revealed that there has been interest in the striker from other clubs.
Following his previous revelation, the Lions boss has now vowed to speak to his player about the future, as he stated the following when discussing Olaofe:
“We’re certainly grateful to Sutton for the work they’ve done with Tanto. He’s had a really strong season.
“I’ll speak to him and chat through perhaps where we see next year. I‘m quite open with that.
“I think it depends on what opportunities we have. We have to sit down and look at what’s the best thing for him career-wise and how do we get him close to our first team.
Can you name the Millwall player who has been carded the most in each of the last 16 seasons?
“Is he at a level that he can now affect that? Or is he at a level where we look at getting him out into the [Football] League and seeing if he can maintain that really good momentum that he’s got?
“Either way, it’s a nice problem to have. He’s worked really hard to get to that point.”
The youngster is yet to have made his first team bow for the South London club and previously also had a loan spell up in Scotland with St Johnstone, where he was only afforded two appearances during his time at McDiarmid Park.
Keeping hold of your best young players is an important factor for Millwall as they look develop further as a club over the next few years.
There has been far too many occasions where the Lions have lost their younger players to other clubs in and around London, with Eberechi Eze heading to QPR and Ayoub Assal moving to AFC Wimbledon being prime examples of this.
Olaofe needs to be shown that there is a clear development pathway in place for him at the New Den otherwise he could be tempted to head elsewhere in the near future.
The club has fallen victim to this sort of thing before and they could well be lining themselves up for another case of deja vu if they don’t offer the 21-year-old some clarity on his future.