One time wonderkid John Bostock admitted this weekend that he would be tempted by a return to English football. Speaking to The Guardian in an emotional interview he stated:
“People may feel like if I came back to England I may need to prove something but I am not worried. Maybe a few years ago I would feel worried and that I would need to prove myself, that I was this wonderkid but I don’t need to prove any of that any more. If I came back I would just want to do the best job I could for the club I play for and enjoy playing in England in front of my friends and family…”
Bostock was of course once one of the hottest talents in world football. As reported by the Daily Mail in 2007 the then 15-year-old was wanted by Barcelona among some of the bigger clubs in world football.
Instead, it was Tottenham Hotspur who snapped him up. But his development stalled at the club and it was only after a move to Belgium that things turned around. Excellent form has followed with Royal Antwerp, OH Leuven, RC Lens and he is now at Turkish side Bursaspor.
But should Millwall offer him a route back to London, where he could show just how much he has improved since his 2013 release by Spurs?
Whilst Bostock only joined the Turkish outfit in January, the Super Lig club are in serious financial trouble and The Guardian suggest Bostock has yet to be paid by the club since signing.
That could surely make him available on the cheap this summer and, at 26-years-old, it might be time for him to return to England.
Millwall would offer him the perfect opportunity to do so. Bostock, from nearby Camberwell, would be back on his home turf with a definite point to prove. Indeed, back in 2013, Millwall were one of many teams linked with signing the player on a free transfer – as reported by The Express.
But Bostock needed to go abroad to escape the limelight and he has been excellent in rejuvenating his flagging career.
Millwall have built a brilliant tight-knit squad of players who, like Bostock, have largely been turfed out by other clubs. The result has been a hard-working team that very nearly upset the promotion party in the Championship this season.
Bostock could add just that little bit of quality that perhaps Millwall lack in order to take them into the top six.
Millwall would be making a shrewd move if they decided to bring the former Barcelona targeted wonderkid back to South London this summer.
Nedum Onouha would be a smart signing for Millwall
Millwall hunt on the bargain market and the former QPR captain would be perfect.
Nedum Onouha is currently on the hunt for a new club. The former QPR captain left Loftus Road this summer after six years at the club. The 31-year-old defender played 223 games for the club, always giving his all for the club but deciding the time was right to leave this summer.
Now he is available on a free transfer and many teams in the Championship and League One will no doubt be keen on the player.
One team who should definitely be keen are Millwall.
The Lions are coming off the back of a brilliant campaign in the Championship. Neil Harris led his side to a late play-off charge and they only narrowly missed out on a place in the top six.
This summer they will want to improve, but to do so is difficult given their financial situation. Millwall spend wisely in the transfer market. Relying on cheap signings and free agents this summer will be as tough as ever for Millwall to make wholesale improvements.
Which is why Onouha should be one of their targets. Capable of playing at right-back or centre-back he could be a great addition to the club’s already impressive back-line. Budging one of Shaun Hutchinson or Jake Cooper from a starting position would be tough for the experienced defender. But if Millwall want to sustain a challenge for promotion again next season strength in depth will be key.
If his wages are reasonable they could offer Onouha the perfect chance to remain in the Championship and remain in London.
This would be a perfect fit for both club and player.
Exclusive: Steve Morison raves about Millwall fans, discusses ‘difficult’ Leeds spell
The Welsh international spoke with pride when reflecting on Millwall’s most recent Championship campaign.
Millwall achieved an impressive 8th placed finish during their first season back in the Championship and were ultimately only three points off of a play-off place.
The Lions were one of the surprise packages of the 2017/18 Sky Bet Championship season and Neil Harris deserves a great deal of praise for the results that he has delivered at The Den.
One player who symbolises what the club represents is striker Steve Morison.
The 34-year-old has played over 200 matches for the Lions and will undoubtedly go down as a Millwall legend.
In an exclusive interview with The Boot Room, the Welsh international spoke proudly about the recent campaign, praising the incredible team spirit as the reason behind the club’s success:
“We’ve got an incredibly tight-knit and committed squad of players who work hard both individually and collectively.
“Since he first took charge, the manager has implemented a way of playing which gets the best out of the players he has at his disposal and also, since the back end of last season, we’ve formed a great bond with the supporters.
“Each of those elements are important individually, but when you add them all together then it shouldn’t really be as big as surprise that we have surpassed expectation as it has been made out by some.”
Although Millwall cannot compete with the finances of some of the bigger clubs in the second tier, they boast an ardent fan-base and they have found a set of players who have been successfully able to connect with those in the stands.
In the past, the supporters have been difficult to play in front of and some players have struggled to live up to expectation but that hasn’t been a problem for the current squad. Understandably, Morison was keen to emphasise the tremendous role that the supporters played throughout the campaign.
“They can be a tough crowd to play for when things are going against you but so long as you keep putting everything in to each performance, playing with passion and desire, then they will continue backing you.
“I’ve played at Millwall for a long time now all-in-all and I’m sure they respect my achievements and personality, as I do their honesty and love for the club.”
It is no surprise to hear Morison speak highly of the club’s supporters. After all, he has played more matches for Millwall than he has at any other club he has been with.
This is his third spell at The Den and he is a player that the supporters have formed a genuine connection with.
A no-nonsense centre-forward, who benefits from the atmosphere created by the fans, Morison doesn’t shirk a physical encounter, making him the perfect striker for the current squad.
“This really feels like home for me as a player. The club gave me my big chance when I first moved here, which was a platform to go on to play for my country and in the Premier League.
“Since that first spell I’ve been back twice, firstly on loan which wasn’t so successful for me or the club, and more recently since the gaffer took over.
“The style of play suits me and I suit the style of play, which is why I think my best performances have tended to come in a Millwall shirt.”
This season, Morison has shown no sign of slowing up, playing 44 of the Lions’ Championship matches and becoming one of the mainstays of the team under Neil Harris.
The 34-year-old only scored five times, but he was an important part of Millwall’s success. In addition to his goals, he contributed eight assists and was a handful every time he stepped out onto the pitch.
Over the course of the campaign he moved to within ten of 100 goals for the club.
“Personal records and accolades are always nice to receive but if I’m not scoring and the team is winning then I’m far happier than I would be if it was the other way around.
“I’ve had some great memories of my time at Millwall and hope there is many more to come, including reaching that goal landmark which any player, no matter what club they play for, should be proud of.”
That would be a major landmark to reach and it is likely that he will be given more than a fair opportunity to get the goals required.
Naturally, Morison is right to speak about the team being more important than personal achievement, but there is a good chance that he can enjoy both at The Den.
It would be a great moment for him, as he has enjoyed his best years at the club and to reach 100 goals would be a fair representation of his contribution.
Morison will be remembered fondly by the Millwall supporters, but the current manager in the dugout is already legend at the club.
Neil Harris achieved a lot as a player and has had a similar impact since taking over as the number one at The Den.
His former team-mate speaks positively about his current boss and it is obvious that he sees him as havingd a bright future in management.
“The gaffer is one of those who knows how to get the best out of players both individually and, when all put together, as a team. He is very honest and up front and we regularly have lengthy chats about all sorts of things. He respects the opinions of his players, especially senior ones like myself.
“He knows this club so well – he’s a Millwall legend – but he was right when he said, after his appointment, that he wanted to be judged on his performance as a manager and not as the player he was.
“Since then we’ve been to Wembley twice, winning promotion once, and almost secured a Play-Off spot for a chance to get to the Premier League. Those achievements speak for themselves and ultimately say a lot about his quality as a manager and a person.”
There are times when a manager and club fit like a glove. Harris and Millwall are an example of that.
He played the majority of his career at The Den and is one of the players who, like Morison aims to, scored more than 100 goals for The Lions.
During his playing career, he learnt everything there was to know about the club and it isn’t a shock that it has allowed him to transition seamlessly into management.
Harris started as the boss of the Under-21s and is now emerging as one of the most exciting coaches in the country.
Millwall’s style of play is functional, but it has earned the club good results.
An 8th placed finish is a superb achievement and sees them finish above the likes of Leeds United, Norwich City and Sheffield Wednesday, all of whom were seen as teams that could challenge for promotion this season.
He may now be seen in a similar way to Harris, but Morison hasn’t been at Millwall for his entire career.
The Welsh international tested himself at a higher level with Norwich in the Premier League. Meanwhile, he also played for Leeds United, but failed to make an impact at Elland Road.
It didn’t work out for him in Yorkshire, but he doesn’t want to make excuses for his lack of impact.
“I’ve been fairly honest in my assessment of my time at Leeds in the past. It just didn’t work out anywhere near as well as I’d hoped or the club had hoped for me. It was a difficult time to be a player with the controversy and uncertainty in the background, which does have an impact on performances and results.
“But as an individual I don’t want to make excuses. I didn’t play as well as I would have liked and as I have done since.”
Although it didn’t work out for Morison at Leeds, he won’t finish his career looking back at the spell with regret. Ultimately, it led him back to Millwall and that is where he feels at home.
The atmosphere and playing style allow him to play to a high standard, despite approaching 35 years of age.
Although some would consider Morison to be nearing the end of his time as a player, he isn’t ready to call it a day just yet.
“So long as I feel fit and I’m contributing then I want to play as long as possible. You’re a long time retired as a footballer and I want to prolong my own career as much as is possible.
“I feel that I’ve contributed well again this season and am looking forward to coming back for training again at the end of June to get ready for another campaign. I don’t look too far forward.
“As a club we’ve got to ensure that this season and the success we’ve enjoyed becomes a platform for progression and even bigger and better things in 2018/19. That has to be our aim.”
There is a lot for Morison to achieve before hanging up his boots. The 100 goals will be on his mind, even if it isn’t his main priority. Also, he will want to continue to play a part in the progression of Millwall.
The Lions finished 8th this season and there will be a desire to go one step further and make the play-offs during the 2018/19 campaign. It would be an incredible achievement for the club to reach the top-flight, but the last 12 months show that it shouldn’t be considered impossible.
Morison still has a part to play and it is clear he has the hunger to deliver sustained progression at the club.
Millwall should add free agent Jordan Graham to their cast of Wolves misfits
Millwall will be looking to build on their late play-off charge next season.
Wolverhampton Wanderers enjoyed a fantastic season in the Championship this term. Wolves won the title and led for most of the campaign. Now the club must prepare for a return to the Premier League. That will no doubt see more mass investment from the club’s Chinese owners and, in turn, plenty of faces leaving the Molineux.
One such player is likely to be winger Jordan Graham. The 23-year-old is out of contract at Wolves this summer and it looks unlikely he will be sticking around. He has suffered from the influx of new talent arriving at the club and is something of a forgotten man at Wolves.
Which might interest Millwall. The Championship’s unlikely play-off challengers are coming off the back of a great season when they surpassed even the most optimistic of predictions.
Some of their key players for the campaign have been those turfed out by Wolves after the Fosun revolution. George Savile, Jed Wallace and Ben Marshall have all been integral to Neil Harris’ side and their success.
So why not bring in Graham as well?
Millwall will want to build on their fantastic end to last season but finances are tight at The Den. Therefore, a talented wide man like Graham being available for free will undoubtedly interest Millwall.
It is easily forgotten just how impressive Graham was during the 2015-16 season at Wolves. Unfortunately, a knee injury cut short his momentum and he has struggled for first-team football at Wolves ever since.
Millwall, as a club, is clearly more than happy to offer talented players a second chance.
Graham is a magnificent wide-man and his pace and trickery would be more than welcome at Millwall in the summer.
Harris should certainly consider adding him to his ever-growing band of Wolves misfits in South London this summer.
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