How vital is it for Millwall to keep hold of marksman Lee Gregory?

How vital is it for Millwall to keep hold of marksman Lee Gregory?

For a League One club to turn down a bid from the top two divisions for a player, you could be forgiven for thinking they were somewhat audacious. It’s a different story however for one of League One’s proverbial bigger fish in Millwall, who have recently rebuffed Rotherham United ‘s approach for last season’s 27 goal top scorer in all competitions, Lee Gregory.

The 27 year old has been the subject of much speculation ever since the end of the season, as Millwall fell at the final hurdle, losing the playoff final 3-1 to Barnsley and missing out on promotion back to the Championship at the first attempt.


Gregory’s Non – League background has already drawn comparisons to his former teammate at Halifax, Jamie Vardy, with the Millwall hitman tipped by some to reach similar heights later in his career. Though after Millwall ‘s failed bid to get back into the second tier last year, Gregory’s contribution of 21 league goals means that he is an asset that Neil Harris’ Millwall logically cannot afford to lose.

League One was unique last season in that there was no real “big club” figure whose financial punch and large fanbase consequently meant that they took the League by storm, unless you consider Wigan Athletic within that category. They however took time to get their game going, and with the upcoming season’s so called “big fish in a small pond” in Bolton and Charlton both in precarious positions regarding finances and ownership, the Lions will be licking their lips at the prospect of challenging again and this time being successful.

Fighting tooth and nail to keep hold of Gregory is a signal of that intent. Rebuffing a bid believed to be in the region of £1.2million from an up and coming, somewhat ambitious club in Rotherham may be seen as bold, but Harris and Millwall fans will know that no money can replace the man whose goals got them so far last season.

As well as his goal tally, his movement off the ball and the way he pulls players out of position is vital for Millwall ‘s creative force. He holds the ball up well and doesn’t shy away from physical centre halves, and when he is presented with a golden chance is a reliable finisher and unselfish in front of goal when necessary.

The fact he is a nuisance for defenders both on and off the ball shows his importance to his team in open play as well as his personal goals contribution. A player of such impact in the forward line who is so prolific is always a rare commodity and a difficult one to replace in the lower divisions, and since financial restrictions are no object, Millwall from a fans’ perspective must hold firm in turning away further interest since any potential void fillers capable of matching Gregory’s tally are in worryingly short supply.


Were Millwall to keep their man, he could easily be expected to plunder as many goals as the previous season, if not even better his tally from what was his most prolific season in the Fooball League having netted 29 goals in the National League in 2013-14 for Halifax. Millwall subsequently snapped him up for a fee of £250,000, and his current manager Neil Harris has confirmed interest from the Millers but also stated his intent to keep his man:

“Rotherham have bid for Lee, who had an exceptional season last year. There is going to be interest in our players, because we have got very good ones.

“But the club have turned it down. And just as importantly – more importantly – we have 100 per cent not received any transfer request from Lee Gregory.

“Lee is a boy who wants to play at the best level he can. He is happy playing for us. I had an excellent relationship with Lee last year and found a way to get the best out of him. I’d like that to continue next season”.

For now, Millwall fans will be hoping he’s scoring goals in a higher division in their colours, having already scored a hatful in the Championship with 9 goals in 2014-15 which ultimately proved fruitless  as the South East Londoners failed to stave off relegation.

Though another year in the third tier stands between them and that vision, and Gregory will be just as integral in getting them there as he will be in aiding Millwall in the Championship, if they can keep hold of him. But there is a long time to go until the transfer window slams shut, and it will really test Millwall’s ambition if an offer that they cannot refuse is in the pipeline.

For them, however, he is priceless, and if their resolve here is anything to go by, do not be surprised to see him in a promotion winning side at the end of next season.

Featured Image: Some rights reserved by joshjdss

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