Millwall captain Alex Pearce has penned a new deal to keep him at the club for another year, with his contract extension announced on the club’s official website.
The 32-year-old initially joined the Lions on loan from Derby County in January 2019 – and went on to make the move permanent in the summer when his contract with the Rams expired.
Since then, the captain has gone on to be a semi-regular player in the first team and an experienced head in the dressing room.
Pearce’s contract was set to expire at the end of the season, but Gary Rowett has taken the opportunity to retain the Irishman for at least one more season. As per a London News Online exclusive at the end of May, the defender was offered reduced terms by the club, an offer that was accepted and Pearce will spend yet another year in the Championship.
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Although the defender is probably entering his final year or two at this level, his experience in the second tier with Reading and Derby County is unrivalled and spent time with the former competing in the Premier League between 2012 and 2013, nearly securing a move to Liverpool towards the end of that campaign.
He will join new signings George Long and Scott Malone at the back as the 2021/22 season approaches.
Despite signing a new contract, I can only see Pearce playing a limited amount of football next season. His pace was a weakness of his even back in his Reading days and as the captain gets older, that won’t get any better.
However, the defender will continue to be an important figure for the whole club, including academy players who will be desperate to break through and make their mark at The Den.
Gary Rowett will be hoping his defender’s leadership skills and promotion-winning experience can be a valuable asset for at least another year – and with the experience of someone like Pearce – the manager knows who he can turn to if the East London side are in a crisis. That’s the one huge plus of having the 32-year-old
This year, Rowett will have had to weigh up whether Pearce offers value for money, even on reduced terms. On this occasion, the Millwall boss believes he does as someone who “knits the players together”. But Pearce may not get another contract offer next time.