Millwall boss tackles future of Portsmouth loanee Mahlon Romeo and long-term target Ben Thompson being left out in the cold

Mahlon Romeo moved a step closer to a permanent Millwall exit after Gary Rowett stated his future is in his own hands.

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 11:40 am
Mahlon Romeo and Ben Thompson in action for Millwall Aaron Chown/PA Wire.

And the Lions boss has indicated long-term target Ben Thompson needs to find first-team football, as he finds himself out in the cold at The Den.

Rowett has discussed the future of both men, in the wake of his side’s 2-1 win at Sheffield United - with Jed Wallace on the scoresheet at Bramall Lane.

Romeo arrived at Fratton Park on the final day of the summer transfer window, with a loan from the Championship side announced minutes before the deadline.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

That agreement runs until next summer, with the 26-year-old signing a ‘long-term contract’ with Millwall in 2020.

Romeo has suggested he feels his days with the Londoners are now at a close, with the Antigua and Barbuda international making a strong impression in his 10 appearances at Fratton Park to date.

And Rowett has indicated he’s happy with his options in Romeo’s position, with the ball in his court over what lies ahead.

He told NewsAtDen: ‘Mahlon went out to play regular football. We’ve got Danny (McNamara) in that position and Lenny (Ryan Leonard) and Billy (Mitchell) can play there as well.

‘It’s really a question for Mahlon how he perceives it (his Millwall future).’

Meanwhile, Thompson remains in the cold at the club he came through the ranks at, with the 26-year-old barely featuring this season.

The former Pompey loanee was a long-term target for the Blues, after making a massive impression in his 27 appearances at Fratton Park in the 2018-19 season.

Thompson’s recall in January was widely seen as a key factor in Kenny Jackett’s side losing their way, after leading the League One table at Christmas.

Talk of a switch to PO4 has been regularly aired since, but the one area Pompey seem to be amply covered at present is in the midfield department.

Chief executive Andy Cullen has also indicated the club have already overspent on their existing budget, and will have to be ‘creative’ with their January recruitment.

Rowett, however, believes Thompson needs to find first-team football after playing just a minute of Championship football this term.

He added: ‘We’ve got a really strong squad this season.

‘There is lots of competition in midfield and Thommo hasn’t had many opportunities.

‘Every player should want to play regular football and Thommo is no different.’