Millwall defender Jake Cooper has praised Alex Pearce when asked about the London club potentially signing the Derby County loanee on a permanent deal this summer, South London Press report.
“It’s down to the club and what Alex wants to do with his career. He’s been a great addition. I’m sure the club will be trying to get him to stay on a long-term basis. We just needed that little bit of experience to come in and shore things up – he’s certainly done that.”
Alex Pearce signed for Millwall on a six-month loan deal in January. It was a strange move on Derby County’s part as it left them with only two natural fit centre-backs.
The Rams went on to sign Efe Ambrose on a free transfer in early February to provide extra cover. The deal all-but ended Pearce’s future at Derby in what has been a frustrating time for the defender.
The 30-year-old signed for Derby from Reading in the summer of 2015 on a free transfer. Pearce had played in the Premier League for the Royals, so many supporters felt he was an excellent addition.
Alex Pearce’s struggles at Derby County:
Pearce, however, initially struggled to break in to the first-team ahead of Richard Keogh and Jason Shackell. Steve McClaren’s return as manager saw the experienced centre-back make 39 Championship starts in the 2016/17 campaign. His sacking, though, once again saw the Republic of Ireland international return to the periphery at Pride Park.
Current boss Frank Lampard brought in Fikayo Tomori last summer as first-choice alongside Keogh. Pearce, making just one substitute appearance this term in the league, knew his time at Derby was drawing to a close with his contract set to expire in the summer. Moving to Millwall on loan to get game-time made sense.
Pearce has since gone on to make nine starts for the Lions, helping them preserve their Championship status. In his last six starts, the South London club have conceded just three goals.