Millwall manager Gary Rowett has confirmed that goalkeeper Luke Steele is set to return to Nottingham Forest this month after an unsuccessful loan spell in the capital.
Steele was signed back in August as cover for Frank Fielding who had damaged his quad muscle during the opening day clash with Preston North End at The Den.
“I’ve had a good conversation with Steeley,” Rowett confirmed in an interview with London News Online.
“His mindset was that he came here to try and play games and it has not worked out for him due to Bart Bialkowski’s form and various other things.
“He needs to go and play. He can’t afford at his age and stage of his career, where he has played so many games, to be sat on the bench.
“I expect him to choose to go back when his loan is up.”
Quiz – Can you remember Millwall’s last 15 league positions?
Since arriving on his six-month loan deal, Steele has played just two games for The Lions, both in the League Cup, but has been in the first-team’s matchday squad throughout the Championship campaign as well.
At 35 he is unlikely to break into the Forest first-team upon his return to the City Ground so another loan move away now seems more than likely.
Rowett will be looking to put his mark on the team during the January transfer window after what has been a brilliant start to life at The Den.
The Lions now sit in seventh place after losing just one of their last 11 Championship games. Just one point separates them from a play-off place so the transfer window may well prove crucial.
I think this is the right move for all parties involved.
Steele needs to be playing at his age, like Rowett said, so it would be utterly pointless keeping him at the club as a third choice ‘keeper.
However, it is hard to see him getting those playing opportunities in the second-tier now so dropping down into League One may well be necessary for Steele to get those minutes.