This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Millwall are reportedly one of the Championship clubs keen on Sunderland’s Luke O’Nien and are looking to capitalise on his contract situation.
O’Nien’s current deal expires in this summer but negotiations are ongoing between the player and the North East club.
Football Insider has reported that Preston North End, Middlesbrough, Millwall and Luton Town are all keen signing the 26-year-old on a free transfer.
But would he be a good signing for Gary Rowett’s side? And is he needed?
We quizzed our FLW writers for their thoughts…
I think it could be a really good signing.
He’s a top player and one that should certainly be in the Championship rather than stuck in League One.
That’s surely what he’ll be weighing up at the moment with Sunderland offering him a new contract to obviously try and keep him on.
He’s versatile and can do a number of jobs well and I think he would be a hit at Millwall if he ended up there.
He’s the sort of player that becomes a cult hero with the way he goes about his work and does whatever is asked of him and I think Millwall fans would like that about him, as well as his obvious talent.
Can you name the Millwall player who has been carded the most in each of the last 16 seasons?
I really like the idea of him heading to Millwall.
O’Nien has impressed me in his time with Sunderland, and I think it could be time for him to move on from the Stadium of Light.
With the Black Cats being condemned to another season in League One, you couldn’t blame O’Nien for wanting to pursue a move to a Championship club, with Middlesbrough also believed to be keen on landing his signature this summer.
Millwall could certainly benefit from signing a player of his versatility, as he can operate in both midfield and defence.
Additional depth in those areas is definitely needed at Millwall, and I think this could be a smart move for O’Nien, as he’s more than capable of performing to a good enough standard in the second-tier in my eyes.
Like for many Championship clubs, O’Nien would be a solid signing for Millwall and he can fit into a number of different positions in Gary Rowett’s systems.
Looking at the back end of the season just gone, Rowett used a 3-5-2 formation and if he goes into the 2021/22 campaign with that, then the versatile 26-year-old could slot into three different positions.
Right-wing-back is the role that he’s played in most for Sunderland but with Mahlon Romeo and Danny McNamara there the Lions are pretty well sorted, so it could mean a move back into the engine room.
That’s where O’Nien’s impressive performances for Wycombe Wanderers came which pushed the Black Cats to sign him in the first place, and with Ryan Woods heading back to Stoke and Shaun Williams departing, it’s left spaces in the midfield to fill and O’Nien could do just that.
Especially on a free transfer it would be silly for Millwall to not make a move for him but they’re bound to face a ton of competition for his signature.