Millwall, ‘We had a lot of interest in him, but…’ – Gary Rowett reacts as Millwall starlet pens fresh contract

‘We had a lot of interest in him, but…’ – Gary Rowett reacts as Millwall starlet pens fresh contract

Millwall boss Gary Rowett has said it felt best to keep Isaac Olaofe to bolster their attacking options, adding a new deal is a “reward” for his hard work.

Millwall striker Olaofe enjoyed another strong spell out on loan with Sutton United over the course of last season.

During two spells at Gander Green Lane, the striker notched up 24 goals in 76 appearances for the club. Back with the Lions this summer, Olaofe was involved in Rowett’s first-team preparations for the new season and has notched up three appearances in the early stages of the campaign.

Now, after the 22-year-old penned a new deal on Monday, Rowett has labelled it as a reward for his hard work.

As quoted by News at Den, the Millwall boss said that he saw it best that Olaofe remained beyond deadline day despite interest in his services too, stating he will be a useful option at the top of the pitch as he pushes for regular minutes

“He’s worked really hard since pre-season,” Rowett said.

“I think he was one where we had a lot of interest in him, but we just felt that it was better for him to stay as part of the group to give us more options in those forward areas.

“We saw it last year with Tyler [Burey] where we were toying with letting him out, then we had a couple of injuries and all of a sudden he was in the team and he was one of those options, either starting or coming on to help us. I can see Tanto doing that as well.

“His new deal is a nice little reward for him and for the hard work he’s put in, and now it’s up to him to try and see if he can push to get into the team and into the matchday squad. But he’s certainly got all the attributes.”

The next off the press?

Millwall have seen a number of academy talents pick up game time in recent seasons, with Rowett providing Tyler Burey as the most recent example of a youth star forcing their way into the side amid injury issues.

Olaofe will be hoping for a similar chance this season, and it certainly seems Rowett has faith he is capable of doing so after turning down late interest in his services.

There are a solid amount of options at striker now for the Lions, but there’s no doubt academy graduate Olaofe will be doing all he can to force his way into the side again after sitting out of the last for Championship matchday squads.

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