It’s been a very busy week in the Lions’ Den, as three first-team calibre players have signed for Millwall, and two of them starred in the team’s first pre-season friendly.
The first incoming to the club came in the form of a much-needed Goalkeeper. Former England Under-21 Frank Fielding signed for the Lions after he was released from Bristol City at the end of last season. Manager Neil Harris feels “Frankie’s pedigree at this level is outstanding” and will wear the No.1 strip next term.
Days later, Queens Park Rangers frontman Matt Smith became Millwall’s third summer signing for an undisclosed fee. The 30-year-old has been on the Lions’ radar for the last few transfer windows, but as Smith’s first team opportunities at QPR began to fizzle out, the time was right for him to move on. Smith will wear the No. 10 shirt and will cause problems in the air for defenders throughout the season.
The club announced in the last hour their third signing of the last seven days in Bournemouth winger Connor Mahoney who has signed a long-term contract at the club. Mahoney never quite made it into Eddie Howe’s plans at Bournemouth and is looking for a fresh start at the Lions. He has championship experience after spending last season on loan at Birmingham City, and his undisclosed fee is rumoured to be in the seven-figure mark.
Both Fielding and Smith started Millwall’s pre-season opener against Concord Rangers at the Aspect Arena. The Lions took the lead through Shaun Williams, and second-half goals from Ben Thompson, Rueben Duncan and the reportedly unsettled Fred Onyedinma, gave them a comfortable victory.
With these signings and a positive start to their pre-season campaign, the vibe in and around the club seems to be much better than it was at the back end of last season. However, there is still work to be done to the squad to make sure next term isn’t a season-long relegation battle.