Where you can find former Portsmouth favourite Ben Thompson as he continues to be overlooked at Millwall

Former Pompey favourite Ben Thompson has been regularly lining up for Millwall’s under-23s in the Professional Development League as he continues to be overlooked for first-team duties at The Den.

By Mark McMahon
Sunday, 28th November 2021, 5:36 pm
Updated Monday, 29th November 2021, 10:34 am

The midfielder was a surprise face in the away end at Gillingham on Saturday, as he finds himself out of favour with the Lions.

The 26-year-old, who made a huge impression at Fratton Park during a brief loan spell in 2018, has been trying to keep his fitness levels and sharpness up

by featuring for Kevin Nugent’s youngsters – a side which also includes former Blues triallist Abdul Abdulmalik.

Former Pompey midfielder Ben Thompson continues to be out of favour at Millwall. Picture: Warren Little/Getty Images

Thompson has made four appearances, which is the same number of senior games he has played this season.

In fact, the midfielder hasn’t featured for Gary Rowett’s side since the first of those four games against QPR’s young guns on October 1.

Meanwhile 15 of manager Rowett’s 20 Championship match-day squads this term have seen Thompson excluded altogether – placing him well down the pecking order at the south London club.

His only second-tier appearance to date during the 2021-22 season has been as an 89th-minute substitute against Blackpool on August 28, while his three other first-team outings have come in the EFL Cup – including Pompey’s visit to The Den at the start of the campaign.

The last of those games came against Leicester on September 22, with Thompson’s substitution on 72 minutes the last time Millwall fans have seen him in action for the senior team.

Despite clearly being out of the picture at The Den following 174 appearances, Rowett has been impressed with the midfielder’s attitude and the professionalism he has shown by playing for the club’s under-23s.

However, he accepts Thompson will be weighing up his future as January approaches and with the player’s contract up at the end of the season.

Speaking to the South London Press earlier this month, Rowett said: ‘It is pretty clear Thommo wants to play football – he has always had that mindset.

‘I’ve chosen to speak to him on a couple of occasions, just to have a conversation about where we are.

‘He has been a really, really good player for this club and wants to play in the under-23s if he is not in the first-team. His attitude is fantastic.

‘He has been really good in those games and has helped a little bit with his leadership around the younger lads. I can’t say enough good things about him.

‘Until January he will continue to be available for selection for the first team. If January comes around and he hasn’t played or featured much then I’m sure he’ll be no different – he will want to play football.

‘I’d be more worried if a player was sat there and didn’t want to play or get in the first team. Those wouldn’t be the right attributes.

‘Thommo has shown all the right things and should be commended for that.’

Pompey have been consistently linked with a move for Thompson since his 27-match spell on the south coast during the 2018-19 season.

Nothing has ever materialised, though, while current Blues boss Danny Cowley has admitted that central midfield is an area he is well stocked following the summer arrivals of Joe Morrell, Shaun Williams, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Louis Thompson and Miguel Azeez.

However, many Blues supporters would love to see him back after the impression he made at PO4.

Meanwhile, it’s not just the Pompey fans who think highly of the diminutive midfielder.

Former Blues defender Paul Robinson, who is part of the coaching set-up at Millwall, also remains a fan – even it means Thompson continues to be overlooked for the first-team.

Speaking about the player after this month’s under-23 victory against Watford, Robinson said: ‘Thommo is different class and a great influence on our group.

‘It's been excellent for the young lads to have him, especially with more of our experienced players out on loan.

‘He has great experience himself and to have him in the side is good for our lads to learn from.’