Millwall boss assures Fratton faithful they have a 'fabulous' player in Mahlon Romeo after Portsmouth deadline day swoop

Millwall manager Gary Rowett admitted it was a hard decision to allow Mahlon Romeo to join Pompey on deadline day.

Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 1:19 pm
Mahlon Romeo (left) has left Millwall for Pompey on a season-long loan - with Lions boss Gary Rowett praising the right-back. Picture: John Walton/PA Wire

Romeo, who is the son of Jazzie B, the frontman of R&B group Soul II Soul, made more than 200 appearances for the Lions across all competitions.

Throughout his six years at Millwall, the 25-year-old has been a mainstay in the team thanks to his defensive qualities and versatility.

Under former Lions boss Neil Harris, Romeo operated strongly as an out-and-out right-back, whereas under Rowett he’s been deployed as a right-wing-back.

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His ability to play a variety of positions down the right-hand-side made him a top-target of Danny Cowley’s.

The former Gillingham defender became Pompey’s 14th summer signing, but the club left it late on deadline day to get the deal over the line – and Rowett wished the Antigua and Barbuda international well.

Rowett said: ‘He goes with our best wishes and, like I said, he’s been brilliant for us.

‘I hope he goes on to have a really strong season. It was a difficult decision, but sometimes you have to allow people to move on and play football on a more regular basis if you think it might be difficult for them to do that here.’

Romeo arrives at Fratton Park having previously won promotion from League One in 2016-17 after playing the entirety of the Lions’ play-off victory against Bradford.

Since then, he has flourished in the Championship, but has seen his minutes diminish due to the emergence and return of Danny McNamara from St Johnstone.

‘Mahlon’s been a fabulous player for us over the two seasons that I’ve been here,’ Rowett told NewsAtDen.

‘Danny McNamara came back from St Johnstone to stake a claim for that place and is doing really, really well. We’ve also got Ryan Leonard and Billy Mitchell, who have proven that they can play there as well.

‘And Mahlon at this stage of his career really wanted the chance to play more regular football. I couldn’t guarantee that.’

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