Millwall are facing a potentially vital summer transfer window where they will need to make the right sort of improvements to their squad to enable them to challenge for a top-six finish.
Gary Rowett’s side ended the campaign with a respectable 11th place finish in the Championship, but they fell a little short in terms of quality to ever really threaten to break into those top-six positions. The Lions will be aiming to invest in some extra firepower at the top end of the pitch this summer.
According to the latest report from TEAMtalk, Millwall are one of the sides that have been offered the chance to bring Middlesbrough forward Chuba Akpom into the club in the summer. That comes with Neil Warnock ready to sanction a departure for the player, despite having only signed him for a fee of nearly £3 million last summer.
With Millwall offered the chance to sign Akpom, we take a look at the potential impacts his arrival could have at The Den…
Akpom to replace the presence of Matt Smith if he leaves the club
One potential impact that Akpom’s arrival could have at Millwall is that he could be a replacement for Matt Smith if the target man leaves the club during the summer. It has already been reported by London News Online that Rowett’s side have offered him a new contract on reduced terms to try and keep hold of him.
However, the same report outlined that there is also going to be interest from other clubs in the forward, who registered three goals in 29 league appearances for them this term. If Smith does decide to take an offer that is made to him from another side, then Millwall are going to need someone to come in and take his place in the squad.
Akpom would not be a bad replacement for him, with the forward having fired in five goals for Boro in 38 Championship appearances this term. That suggests that whilst he is not prolific in front of goal, he would be able to replace the output lost by Smith. The 25-year-old is also far younger and more mobile than the target man, so could get more chances to start for the Lions.
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Millwall’s issues in front of goal eased
One major issue that Millwall had in the Championship this season was their lack of goals in the final third. The Lions ended up drawing 17 of their 46 matches, which was the highest total of draws in the entire division. One of the main reasons for that was due to not being able to find that extra attacking quality to edge tight games.
The Lions’ top scorer was Jed Wallace who fired in 11 goals, but after that, there is a drop off to Scott Malone and Mason Bennett who each netted six goals. Smith was next on the list with five and then no one else in the squad got any more than four.
Akpom, despite only making 20 starts for Middlesbrough, did manage to score five goals in his 38 Championship appearances. That does suggest that the forward would be able to come into Millwall’s squad and bring a greater attacking threat for them. The 25-year-old will also feel he has a point to prove to Warnock now and that could push him on to have a greater impact in front of goal.